The renminbi sold short

Geoffrey Yu discusses an expert’s view on the Chinese currency’s flaws

The World Today Updated 24 November 2020 Published 9 February 2017 3 minute READ

Geoffrey Yu

FX and Macro Strategist for EMEA, BNY Mellon Markets

The People’s Money: How China is Building a Global Currency
Paola Subacchi, Columbia University Press, £30.00

I recall a meeting a few years ago devoted to the opportunities which would come from the internationalization of the renminbi, the Chinese currency. The room was buzzing and there was talk was of it going truly global and achieving the status of a reserve currency, like the dollar, the pound sterling or the euro.

Fast-forward to 2017 and the mood is more sombre. In The People’s Money – How China is Building a Global Currency, Paola Subacchi, director of the International Economics Department at Chatham House, concludes that the renminbi is not yet a full-fledged international currency; in fact, it is still what she calls a ‘dwarf currency’ which even local guides in Zambia refuse to accept as ‘good money’.

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