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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#298: Why The World Still Needs Dollars

August 12th, 2011

Episode 400 of 964 episodes

Every day, all around the world, people do business in U.S. dollars — even when their business has nothing to do with the U.S. The dollar is the international language of money. It's essential for global trade. This provides huge benefits for the United States. U.S. businesses can trade in their own currency. Our government can borrow money more cheaply. Mortgages and student loans are cheaper, too. For the moment, the dollar's dominance seems secure. Safe-haven currencies like the Swiss franc are too small to replace the dollar. And bigger currencies like the euro and the Chinese renminbi have problems of their own. On today's show, we hear about how people use the U.S. dollar Brazil and South Africa. And we talk to an economist who says the dollar's days as the world's lone reserve currency may be numbered.

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