No. 69: George Magnus Goes Deep and Wide on China’s Ambition

Former UBS Chief Economist wrote this fantastic analysis of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road plan – essentially a remix of the Silk Road we heard about in Disney movies…

Magnus questions the likelihood of China realizing this plan due in large part to the difficulty of having the renminbi accepted globally as a reserve currency. Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor made waves when the CBN began including the renminbi in its mix of foreign reserves, which include th euro, dollar, and British pound.

I would be interested to see a list of countries that have begun incorporating the renminbi in their reserve mix. As far as I can tell, Australia and Chile are the other two countries publicly incorporating the currency in their holdings.

What made this piece so helpful was the history Magnus drew from in putting it together. He goes back to before Christ’s birth to establish the economic context in which China’s Silk Road operated, and connects that analysis to China’s present-day ambitions.

I suppose we will see if China is able to realize this vision. In the meantime, I’ll continue beefing up my African economic history chops.

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