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How Realistic is a North American Currency?

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Could a seismic currency shift be in our future?

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On it's face, while difficult to imagine, it makes intuitive sense. The ability to combine Canadian natural resources, American ingenuity and cheap Mexican labor would allow North America to better compete on a global stage.

As we've learned through experience, however, perceived solutions introduced by policy makers and politicians don't always have the desired effect.

Unintended Consequences

I've long contended that much like the Internet prophecy proved true-but not before the tech crash-so too would globalization, albeit not without painful yet necessary debt destruction.

To get through this, we need to go through this. If we're not allowed to go through it, foreigners will seek alternative avenues. Remember, for holders of dollar-denominated assets, seeds of discontent have been sowing under the surface for years with the greenback off 30% since 2002.

More likely than not, global leaders will watch how our new administration attempts to tackle the financial crisis before taking drastic steps. They understand that codependent risk exists as a function of the derivatives that interweave our financial infrastructure. If they could disassociate from our economic ecosystem without inflicting massive damage on themselves, they would have done so long ago.

If forward policy attempts to induce more debt rather than allowing savings and obligations to align, we must respect the potential for a system shock-such as a two-tier currency-to gain traction if, and likely after, the dollar meaningfully debases from current levels.

If this dynamic plays out-I sincerely hope that it doesn't-the global balance of powers would fragment into four primary regions: North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In such a scenario, ramifications would manifest through social unrest and geopolitical conflict.

This particular path isn't something one would wish for but the cumulative imbalances that steadily built in our finance-based economy must be resolved one way or another. Therein lies the critical crossroads we together face as our wary world attempts to find its way.

Scary? Yes. Probable? Not so much, at least for the time being. Possible? Certainly, although I'll again offer that it could take years before the pieces of this prickly puzzle fall into place.

Effective money management dictates weighing the entire probability spectrum of potential outcomes and factoring them into our decision making process. While the notion of a seismic currency shift may seem obscure, we must respect the possibility long before it becomes front-page news.

For if we've learned anything through the last few years, proactive thought provocation is a necessary precursor to effective preparedness.

R.P.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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