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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Monetary Instability: Are National Currencies Becoming Obsolete?

  • Author(s): Cohen, Benjamin J.
  • et al.

Accelerating cross-border competition among currencies is creating increasing turbulence in the international monetary environment. Are national currencies becoming obsolete? Currency competition compels governments to choose from among a limited number of strategies, only one of which involves preservation of a traditional territorial money. Many national currencies will disappear, leading to an increasing number of regional currencies of one kind or another – a distinctly new geography of money. But there is no sure way to predict what that new geography of money will ultimately look like. We have a fairly good idea of the principal factors that are likely to influence state preferences, but many configurations are possible and even probable.

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