Wednesday, September 3, 2008

World Coin News Addresses Currency Unions

The September issue of Krause Publications' World Coin News carries two interesting articles concerning the possibility of a Gulf States Currency Union. ("Gulf State currency union in doubt," by Richard Gledroyc, and "Currency unions make collecting interesting," no byline, 14) The Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, already has a customs union, which is often the first step in a currency union and, frequently, to political union as well. The less powerful states in such arrangements, using history as a guide, are always concerned about losing their autonomy, even their identity, before the economic and political might of the stronger states.

There is a way around these real — and legitimate — fears. The Abraham Federation concept should be studied as a means of achieving strength in unity, but without losing individual autonomy or identity.

The Abraham Federation concept could also be applied in the East African Community, which plans to come together as the East African Federation and issue a common currency denominated in East African Shillings in 2009. Similarly, the West African Monetary Zone (part of the Economic Community of West African States, has a tentative launch date for its "Eco" denominated currency of December 2009. . . although this has been delayed twice already, possibly out of fears of monetary imperialism by the stronger members of the community — which could be handled by studying the Abraham Federation proposal for adaptation to their situation.

Other proposed currency unions could also benefit from study of the concept, such as that of the Caribbean single Market and Economy, the Southern African Development Community, to say nothing of the Union of South American Nations (the "Latino"), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the yea/nay agreement between Russia and Belarus.

There are many other proposed currency unions, but the chief sticking point to all of them — the concerns of the smaller partners in the union — could be handled very easily by a general adoption of the Just Third Way as the basic program.

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