(Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images)

The Dollar’s Demise May Come Gradually, but Not Suddenly

April 23, 2023


It is a cliché to say that we live in an ever-changing world. But if something doesn’t change for half a century—the dollar is the dominant currency and some foreign leaders resent that—why do economists and financial journalists keep predicting the demise of the dollar every six or seven years?

Of course, there are many things in history that stayed the same for 50 years and then suddenly changed. That is precisely what makes history hard to predict. It’s why people love to quote the exchange from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

Niall Ferguson is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author, most recently, of “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe.” He is the founder of Greenmantle, an advisory firm, FourWinds Research, Hunting Tower, a venture capital partnership, and the filmmaker Chimerica Media. @nfergus

Originally published in Bloomberg.

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