China’s currency to be added to IMF’s SDR basket as of October 1. About two years too early.

Transcript of an IMF Conference Call on the SDR Basket.

This is a big risk for the IMF and suggests a confidence challenge as they could not resist the pressure from China. The RMB is not yet freely or fully convertible. China has a close-hand on how the currency moves. The IMF is thus handcuffing its own possible monetary policy instrument (it keeps talking about the SDR playing a legitimate role in currency trade settlements). Worse, when firms claim against their own SDR, their fees will be partly held hostage to China’s own rate setting for its currency.

This move by the IMF is too early and mostly as a result of pandering to the growth of China and its [IMF] effort to try to help work with/control how China evolves in the wider world. The RMB should be planned for and accommodated in the SDR, but not until full and free convertibility.

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