BARBADOS-Former Central Bank governor makes case for adopting US currency


A former central bank governor is calling for Caribbean countries to give up their individual currencies and adopt the United States dollar.

Dr. DeLeslie Worrell, the former governor of the Central bank of Barbados, told a conference organised by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) earlier this week that switching to the US currency would essentially eliminate the threat of domestic currency depreciation and with it, the resulting possible disruptions to economic stability.

Dr. DeLeslie Worrell (File Photo)

He said there was no time like the present to switch to US currency, noting that the process is not as difficult as some people may imagine.

Worrell suggested a two-prong process, which involves physically purchasing US notes and coins as well as digital frameworks.

“The local currencies can be entirely redeemed by the Central Bank by purchasing and importing US currency notes and coins using their existing foreign reserve balances. Central banks and monetary authorities in the Caribbean all have foreign reserves sufficient to purchase US notes and coins to replace the full issue of local currency at the prevailing exchange rate,” he said, adding that most Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries  have the requisite foreign reserves to facilitate the recommended dollarisation process.

“All deposits and other liabilities of the banking system are held in digital record and that an equal amount of credit and other assets would also be held in digital record. All that would be required for these balances, is to convert both sides of the balance sheet from local currency to US currency at the prevailing exchange rate.”

There has been widespread speculation here that the Barbados dollar could be devalued and in his presentation, Worrell addressed the situation.

“Domestic currency depreciation brings challenges that inhibit the country’s economic development prospects. It undermines investor confidence. It undermines investor confidence because prospective investors know that devaluation would be inflationary and would trigger increases in import cost as well as unease and unrest in the labour force.

“The threat of devaluation also leads to capital flight as businesses and wealthy individuals switch to the US dollar value system,” said Worrell, arguing that the recurring threat of domestic currency depreciation also widens the disparity in income distribution.

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  1. The Chinese currency would be forward thinking.
    He obviously is not projecting but is looking at now.

    As a matter of fact a world currency must come into realization. The US dollar has fallen and to counter it’s effect they will introduce what is know as universal currency.
    This will be done to prevent the Chinese currency from becoming the dominant currency.
    The trade war and the sanctions is about the very issue. Currency dominance.

  2. This man must be very crazy. The entire is trying to see how they can be less dependent on the US monetary system. We have seen how difficult it is for us to get correspondence banks. If we only would depend on the US Dollar we would be totally at their mercy. Washington will call every and any shots. We might as well become the 52nd, 53rd, 54th etc state ofthe USA. Just look at the treatment that Puerto Rico got after the hurricane. And that being a USA territory. Total disgrace. Having seen what happened during the world economic crisis of 2008/9 I would think the European would have long protected themselves against the US Banking System. Now when the US issue sanctions against a country, be it Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and you name it, it’s like a sanction for the entire world. That is called the big bully has its way whenever, where ever they want. The world need to free it-selves from this monster. Or no nation can ever claim to be truly Free and Independent. To trade with whom they chose.

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