The U.S. dollar is the world’s most widely used currency, so it’s no surprise that many people are curious about what gives it value. But, truthfully, there are several factors at play here.
The dollar has been the primary reserve currency since WWII, giving it an edge over other currencies on the market today.
In addition, the Federal Reserve has also taken steps:
- Ensure that its monetary policy remains stable to boost investor confidence in holding dollars
- Ensuring dollars remain an attractive, safe haven for investors looking for somewhere to store their assets during times of economic uncertainty or turmoil overseas (like Brexit).
All these combined factors mean one thing: Global demand for U.S. dollars makes them valuable!
The U.S. Dollar Locks in purchasing power
The dollar’s value is tied to the value of the goods and services it can buy. Because a government issues U.S. dollars, they will always be accepted as payment for goods and services in their home country. In this way, dollars lock in purchasing power.
In addition to providing a stable currency, U.S. monetary policy has helped keep inflation low. It also allows interest rates to fluctuate independently of changes in other countries’ currencies. That will enable businesses and individuals to borrow at lower costs than they would otherwise pay if they borrowed in another currency or had their money tied up in investments with less predictable returns.
Stable monetary policy
The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States. Its primary responsibilities are maintaining price stability, maximizing employment, and moderating long-run economic growth.
The Fed affects these goals by setting monetary policy and controlling the U.S. dollar money supply to stabilize prices and achieve economic goals.
For example, the Fed can lower interest rates to stimulate the economy by making it cheaper for businesses to borrow money and encouraging investment in new capital goods that create jobs. But lowering interest rates could also increase inflation (a general rise in prices) if consumers want more goods while business owners want more production capacity.
In this case, wage earners will be paid less as employers seek higher profits to offset their increased borrowing costs. As such, workers may face layoffs or reduced wages due to the devaluation of their labor over time as part of inflationary pressure under an expansionary monetary policy.
The U.S. Dollar Is A Reliable safe haven
Investors look to safe haven currencies like the U.S. dollar when the world is uncertain. Safe haven currencies are known to hold their value during times of economic turmoil. That makes them a good investment choice for people looking to protect their money from inflation and other risks.
The U.S. dollar is a safe haven because it hasn’t lost value since 1973 (in theory). That year, President Nixon closed the gold window and made it impossible for foreign nations to redeem their U.S. dollars for gold bullion. Instead, the greenback became an attractive alternative investment compared to other currencies. Foreign assets constantly fluctuate based on market conditions or geopolitical events that could harm their economies or currencies.
Acceptability around the world
The dollar is the world’s most widely held currency, with nearly a quarter of total global foreign exchange reserves.
It’s also used in many international transactions and trade deals and is accepted by more than 150 countries as their official currency.
Independent central bank
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank is responsible for setting interest rates that affect several essential factors:
If the Fed raises interest rates too high, it can hurt businesses by making it more expensive to borrow money and invest in new projects or equipment. That could slow business growth and cause unemployment to rise.
On the other hand, inflation might occur if interest rates are too low for too long. Investors will see better investment returns than risky stocks or real estate purchases elsewhere. Moreover, it would lead to excessive money printing by the government (and a devaluation of the dollar). In turn, that could cause rampant price increases in consumer goods like food & energy!
The value of the U.S. dollar stems from its importance around the world
The most critical component of the dollar’s value is its use worldwide. The dollar is the most widely used currency in the world, accounting for about 60% of global trade.
It is also used as a reserve currency by many countries that don’t have strong currencies. Many countries’ central banks hold dollars as reserves to back up their currencies.
The value of the U.S. dollar stems from its importance around the world. It is a safe haven asset that can be used as a medium of exchange in over 200 countries.
That makes it an attractive investment for those looking to diversify their holdings or hedge against inflationary pressures.