Question: “Who are three people who’ve never been in my kitchen?”
Or lately: “Name three people hating on the once mighty US dollar.”
On Tuesday, Cheng Siwei, the vice chairman of China’s National People’s Congress suggested that China’s foreign exchange regulators ought to consider shifting the country’s massive USD $1.4 trillion reserve into “stronger” currencies. The greenback has been on a downward spiral since 2003. Little did Cheng know that his remarks would trigger a global panic. Overnight, stock exchanges from Frankfurt to New York to Sao Paulo retreated en masse, fearing a dollar swoon would cripple the US economy. The greenback, as one would expect, sank to new lows versus all major currencies. China has since tried to retract Cheng’s statement, but the damage had been done, especially to China’s own piggy bank, now worth a few billion less.
By no means is Cheng alone in his distaste for the US dollar. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, recently hired to promote Proctor & Gamble’s Pantene line of haircare products, insisted that her contract be euro denominated, implying of course payment in USD would be worth much less a year from now.
Then there is Jay-Z, rap star turned business mogul. While shooting the video for his latest single Blue Magic, Jay was seen flashing a thick wad of 500 euro bills, a noticeable departure from the “hundred-dollar-bill Benjamin” approach traditionally favored by hip-hop artists. Blue Magic is the first single off of Jay-Z’s
European American Gangsta album.
Jay Sheng is Shanghaiist’s Business Editor. Email tips, news and gossip about business in Shanghai and China to biz at shanghaiist.com.