BARBADOS – The former governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, (CBB), Dr DeLisle Worrell is urging regional countries to seriously consider using the United States dollar as their national currency.
Writing in the July edition of his monthly newsletter under the caption “Sovereignty and the US Dollar,” Worrell said one question which always surfaces in response to his lecture “The time has come to permanently retire all our Caribbean currencies” is about national sovereignty.
“Most people seem to believe that sovereignty is “lost” with the retirement of the local currency,” he wrote.
However Worrell expressed the view that on the contrary, replacing domestic currency and deposits with US currency and deposits gives everyone in the country wider access to goods and services.
“With domestic currency you can buy only local goods and services; with US dollars you can purchase from anywhere in the world, wherever you can get the best value for your money,” the Economist argued.
According to the former Barbados Central Bank Governor, the fact of the matter is that the US dollar is sovereign in international transactions.
He asserted that there is nothing that can be done about that.
Worrell declared that even China, the world’s second largest economy, with 15
percent of global GDP to the US’s 24 percent, accepts payments in US dollars.
“A Jamaican travelling to Haiti, a Guyanese to Suriname, a Dominican to Guadeloupe, a Trinidadian to Barbados, all take US dollars with them. All hotel rates and oil and commodity prices are quoted in US dollars,” he observed.
The former Central Bank Governor noted that ironically, having a domestic currency in today’s digital world may make a country more susceptible to US sanctions than a fully dollarised country would be.
He said that Iran and Cuba, countries which are currently subject to harsh US sanctions, both have domestic currencies.
“The sanctions bare effective because Cubans and Iranians earn in a local currency whose value continues to fall because the country’s access to US dollars is limited,” Worrell stated.