by Alasdair MacLeod
Rising interest rates threaten to destabilise both financial asset values and the fiat currencies in which they are priced. This outcome is feared by the chattering classes who increasingly speculate about currency resets.
So far, we have seen cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, plans for the introduction of central bank digital currencies, plans to de-dollarise Asian trade, and even El Salvador adopting bitcoin as legal tender. But are these resets valid?
Except for a new currency mooted for cross-border trading purposes between Russia, its former Central Asian satellites and China only at the conceptual stage, all these plans fail in one important respect: as things stand, legally none of them can have the status of a currency. Money, that is physical gold and silver, banknotes and bank credit are exempt from property law with respect to stolen goods which otherwise can be seized from innocent parties who have subsequently acquired them.