Yahoo News / AP / Business Week

Kazakhstan’s president called Wednesday for the creation of a single global currency as a potential solution for the current financial turmoil.

Discussions on a currency operating under the aegis of the United Nations should be discussed at the upcoming Group of 20 meeting in London, Nursultan Nazarbayev said — without detailing how this proposal might resolve the crisis.

“The creation of a global currency should be put on the agenda of all major political and economic bodies, summits and forums, including the G8 and the G20,” Nazarbayev said at an international economic forum in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

The world’s 20 leading industrialized and emerging nations are set to meet on April 2 in London to discuss measures on coordinating a unified approach on the financial crisis.

monetary policies serve only the individual interests of the issuers of the dominant global currencies.

the idea was embraced Wednesday by Robert Mundell, who won the Nobel prize for economics in 1999 for helping lay the theoretical groundwork for Europe’s single currency.

“It would be a very good idea if the G-20 took that idea up in London,” Mundell said.

An international study group should be created to consider proposals on how to implement the world currency, he said,

Nazarbayev has long been a proponent of the adoption of a regional currency, akin to the euro, by members states of the Eurasian Economic Community, a loose economic grouping comprised of six former Soviet nations including Kazakhstan and Russia.

Under the vision outlined by Nazarbayev, the world could move gradually toward a transitional unfied currency before adopting a new monetary standard.

In a recent article in Russian daily newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, Nazarbayev suggested the currency could be dubbed “akmetal” — a composite word based on the Greek ‘akme’ meaning supreme quality.

The idea of creating a single international currency is not new. In the 1940s, British economist John Maynard Keynes advocated creating a world central bank charged in part with issuing a monetary unit called the “bancor.” U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration also forwarded its own variant on the idea called the “unitas.”

Energy-rich Kazakhstan has become a leading economic powerhouse in the region since gaining independence in 1991, but the Central Asian nation has been badly hit by falling oil prices and diminished demand for its energy and mineral resources.

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The Australian

Nobel-prize winner backs world currency

KAZAKH President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won backing for his plan for a single world currency from an intellectual architect of the euro currency, Nobel-prize winner Professor Robert Mundell.

Nazarbayev, speaking at an economic forum in the glitzy new capital he has built on the Kazakh steppe, defended his proposal for the “acmetal” world currency

And he received intellectual support from the Canadian economist Prof Mundell, who helped lay the intellectual groundwork for Europe’s single currency.

“I must say that I agree with President Nazarbayev on his statement and many of the things he said in his plan, the project he made for the world currency, and I believe I’m right on track with what he’s saying,” Prof Mundell said, adding the idea held “great promise”.

Mr Nazarbayev and Prof Mundell urged the Group of 20 leading developed and developing economies to form a working group on the proposal at their summit on the global economic crisis in London on April 2.

“We should deliver our thoughts and the thoughts of this conference to the leaders of those countries,” Mr Nazarbayev said, referring to the G8 and G20 nations.

Mr Nazarbayev, who has held his post since Soviet times and has seen his oil-rich state hit badly by the crisis, unveiled his proposal last month and said yesterday the UN should oversee the currency’s introduction.

Prof Mundell has previously suggested single currencies are only appropriate for countries with similar economies.

Mr Nazarbayev’s coining of “acmetal” combines the Greek word “acme,” meaning peak or best, and “capital.”

Full article


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