By Patrick Barron
The American empire is not enforced by walls with armed guards to prevent its citizens from escaping but, instead, by the almighty dollar. Since the enthronement of the dollar as a reserve currency in 1944 at the Bretton Woods conference and then the establishment of the petrodollar in the early 1970s, almost all international trade has been conducted in dollars. Thusly, dollars are held by every country’s central bank to settle international trade flows. Alasdair Macleod of Goldmoney calculates that foreigners hold around $31.8 trillion in US liabilities, of which $5.8 trillion is held by “official” institutions. (Refer to US Treasury International Capital figures.)
But the US has abused this “special privilege” by printing dollars out of thin air. It has funded its empire of hundreds of bases worldwide with excess dollars. Furthermore, it has enforced compliance with its expansionist foreign policy by freezing dollar accounts held by foreign central banks, foreign businesses, and foreign individuals whom it dislikes. By cutting them out of the international financial messaging system known as SWIFT, it has created great hardship on nations held to be offensive to the US.