U.S. Downgrade Heralds a New Financial Era

PIMCO | Viewpoints –

There will be endless debate on whether S&P, the rating agency, was justified in stripping America of its AAA rating and — adding insult to injury — even attaching a negative outlook to the new AA+ rating. But this historic action has now taken place, and the global system must adjust. There are consequences, uncertainties, and a silver lining. Continue reading

What does the future of the euro look like?

The euro won’t die, but does it have any future?

By Daryl G. Jones

FORTUNE — In 2007, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a German newsweekly that it was “absolutely conceivable that the euro will replace the dollar as the reserve currency, or will be traded as an equally important reserve currency.”

As recently as last year, Greenspan’s take seemed hardly radical, if not yet realistic. Since the currency’s launch on January 1, 1999 (though it only began to circulate as a currency in 2002), the euro has become the world’s second largest reserve currency, after the U.S. dollar. In fact, the euro has consistently seized reserve share from its main competitor, increasing its percentage from 18% to 28% over its decade of existence.

About 330 million Europeans use the euro every day, and 175 million others used euro-pegged currencies. Yet as the chart above shows, all this still put it a long way from surpassing the dollar, even before the European soverign debt crisis started this year. Continue reading