There is an economics-textbook myth that foreign-exchange rates are determined by supply and demand based on market fundamentals. Economics tends to dismiss socio-political factors that shape market fundamentals that affect supply and demand. The current international finance architecture is based on the United States' dollar as the dominant reserve currency. According to the Bureau of Public Debt "it accounts for 68 percent of global currency reserves, up from 51 percent a decade ago. Yet in 2000, the US share of global exports (US $781.1 billon out of a world total of $6.2 trillion) was only 12.3 percent and its share of global imports ($1.257 trillion out of a world total of $6.65 trillion) was 18.9 percent. World merchandise exports per capita amounted to $1,094 in 2000, while 30 percent of the world's population lived on less than $1 a day, about one-third of per capita export value" (Bureau of Public Debt Online).
Ever since 1971 when president Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, the dollar has been a global monetary tool that the United States, and only the United States, can produce by fiat. The dollar is now a fiat currency. A flit currency is defined as a type of currency whose only value is that a government made a decreed that the money is a legal method of exchange (Wikipedia). The dollar is at a sixteen-year trade weighted high despite record US current-account deficits and the status of the US as the leading debtor nation. The United States national debt as of August 29, 2003 was $6.783 trillion against a gross domestic product of $9 trillion (Bureau of Public Debt).
World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. The world's interlinked economies no longer trade to capture a comparative advantage. They compete in exports to capture needed dollars to service dollar-denominated foreign debts and to accumulate dollar reserves to maintain the exchange value of their domestic currencies. To prevent rough and calculating attacks on their currencies, the world's central banks must get a hold of and restrain dollar reserves in matching amounts to their currencies in circulation. The higher the market pressure to devalue a particular currency, the more dollar reserves its central bank must hold. This creates a built-in support for a strong dollar that in turn forces the world's central banks to acquire and hold more dollars in their reserves, making it stronger. This phenomenon is known as dollar hegemony where the dollar has dominance of one group over another (Wikipedia). This is created by the geo-politically constructed a practice that dangerously places commodities such as oil in denominated of dollars. Everyone accepts dollars because dollars can buy oil. The recycling of petroleum-dollars is the price the US has extracted from oil-producing countries for the United States tolerance of the oil-exporting interest group since 1973.
By definition, dollar reserves must be invested in US assets, creating a capital-accounts surplus for the economy. Even after a year of sharp correction, US stock evaluation is still at a 25-year high and trading at a 56 percent premium compared with emerging markets (Asia Times).
United States assets are not growing at a pace on par with the growth of the quantity of dollars. United States companies still represents 56 percent of global market capitalization despite recent reduction of expenditure in which entire divisions of economy suffered some 80 percent a drop in value. The growing return of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) from 1990 through 1999 was "281 percent, while the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) developed-country index posted a return of only 12.4 percent even without counting Japan" (Dow Johns Index, Morgan Stanley). The MSCI emerging-market index posted a simple "7.7 percent return" (Morgan Stanley). The United...