In November 2000, Saddam Hussein announced that oil sold by Iraq would no longer be priced in US dollars (USD). All future transactions would be based on the Euro. Since at the time the Euro was worth only USD .83, commentators saw this, quite rightly, as a case of political point-scoring taking precedence over economic common sense. But in the topsy-turvy world of absolute dictatorships the political imperative will always eclipse the economic, particularly if the dictator concerned is not fussy about the effects of his actions on the country’s economy. It was, however, notable at the time that Iraq did not convert its reserves, some $10 billion, from USD to the Euro, so it was clearly a gesture against the dollar rather than an all-out attack.
Overnight, Iraq’s oil income went into decline, since at the time the Euro was dropping in value and was expected to continue to do so. Lower currency value also means lower interest income on reserves in that currency. All in all, Baghdad stood to lose an awful lot of money.
Iraq’s action seemed to be calculated to drive a larger wedge into the division between the US/UK and the Euro-zone over the sanctions against Iraq that had been in force since 1991. This was undoubtedly part of Saddam Hussein’s plan. It may, in fact, have been all of it. The US/UK have maintained a hard line on sanctions, while the Euro-zone has been in favour of softening them for humanitarian reasons. Any deepening of this rift, impacting as it does on both NAT was an obvious political gain for Iraq. And since Iraq has bought what little imports it has been allowed to acquire almost exclusively from the Euro-zone ever since the Gulf War, the move from the USD to the Euro was not as damaging to the Iraqi economy as might otherwise have been the case.
Oddly enough, in point of fact the Euro began to rise in value against the USD (or, rather, the USD declined against the Euro) shortly afterward, fully against expectations. Since at the time of writing the Euro is priced at slightly more than par with the USD, Iraq has received considerable windfall financial benefits from the change. It is perhaps not so much fortune favouring the brave as having the luck of the devil.
But what is the wider significance of this move?
It is almost certain that Saddam Hussein understands little of macroeconomics and he probably cares even less. But in converting from the USD to the Euro for Iraqi oil sales he incidentally (and accidentally) highlighted an issue that must have been worrying macroeconomists at the Federal Reserve for some years – the continued status of the USD as the medium of international exchange, otherwise known as the “reserve currency”.
What this means is that across the world prices for international trade in commodities and services – such as, topically, oil – are quoted in USD, and the USD is often the means of exchange between buyer and seller. Unless the US itself is the purchasing party, the purchaser must somehow acquire the dollars to pay for the goods or service. To do this, it must either buy dollars on the foreign exchange market in return for some other currency, or it must sell goods into the US in exchange for dollars. This has been an ongoing windfall for the US for many years at virtually no cost to the US except for printing the moolah.
Historically, over the past 30 years the value of the USD on the forex markets has been maintained at a high level regardless of the US’ overall economic performance. This is because it has been in no one’s interests to let the value of the USD fall, simply because it is the reserve currency. While there have obviously been constant fluctuations in the value of the USD on the forex market over the years, it has never fallen too far and it has always bounced back reasonably quickly from any falls, at least in the medium term. In the past.
Why did the USD become the de facto reserve currency in the first place? The basic reason is that the US used to have the largest diversified economy in the world, and its currency was backed by genuine hard economic value from industrial production. This made the USD high-valued and comparatively stable, and people requiring a reserve currency look for stability and value. It is arguable that this is no longer the case. Many of the major product lines that were once in such huge demand from the US – such as steel and steel products and latterly electronics – are now produced overseas much more cheaply. The Rust Belt in the east and the closed-down electronics factories in the west are the semi-silent testimony to this change in circumstances. The US is no longer the world’s economic engine although it is still the largest single economy. The crown that the US once wore as supplier to the world has been broken down into small pieces and the remnants have been passed on to other countries, notably the “tiger economies” of the Far East.
The US has, in fact, become a net importer of goods and services and in the past decade has run up over USD 1 trillion, a mind-boggling amount, in overseas debt. It can be (and often is) argued that the USD is therefore well over-valued. As is usually the case in human economic affairs, its continuing high value is entirely due to people’s perceptions and expectations of its value rather than as the result of a cold, hard assessment of its economic backing. Money (or money-equivalent financial instruments) have been printed for decades in quantities that far exceed the US domestic requirements, largely to service its status as the reserve currency. When money supply outstrips demand and the markets realise this, devaluation and inflation occur simultaneously. When this happened in Germany in the 1920s, hyperinflation occurred, and the amounts involved then were trifling in comparison with the amount of US currency out there in the world. The US is in danger of a sudden and disastrous increase in inflation hat would result in the need for a drastic devaluation of the USD if the markets act on their knowledge of the USD’s vulnerability and sell it down.
So this is the Fed’s nightmare: What happens if the USD is suddenly dumped as the reserve currency? At the least, economic chaos in the US would occur, signalled by a major devaluation of the dollar (figures of between 20% and 25% have been bandied about in the economic literature) and, of course, inflationary pressures. The severity of the inflation is less easily estimated. The damage would not be confined to the US, either. Any country holding significant reserves in USD would find itself in the same boat. The reality is that if the US economy sneezes then eventually the whole world will catch cold. Even more unfortunately, the country that probably holds the most reserves in USD is Japan, already caught in a deflationary downward economic spiral because of a worldwide fall in demand for Japanese products. And Japan is the second largest economy in the world. Any country that is a major supplier to the US would find itself in economic trouble equally quickly as US demand for imports dropped. Very soon, the world would fall into a recession which, it is estimated, could potentially be every bit as bad as the Great Depression or, given the much tighter integration of the world economy thanks to the wholesale adoption of information and communications technology, even worse.
But the USD’s fall from grace need not be this dramatic. A gradual transition from the USD as reserve currency to some other currency, or even a basket of currencies nominated and formally acknowledged as the reserve currency, would allow the Fed time to call in the surplus USD-denominated cash instruments and dispose of them tidily in a non-devaluing and non-inflationary way. The US economy would probably shrink a little and there would definitely be some inflation, but it need be neither deep nor prolonged.
Of course, this implies a willingness to go with the flow and to accept, with moderately good grace, that change is inevitable. This is not the US way of doing things, however. Besides, there has never been a serious challenger to the USD’s pre-eminence in the reserve currency stakes before, and therefore there has never been any need to worry about it, except in a dry, academic, quasi-theoretic kind of way. But now there is real competition to the USD, and it’s called the Euro.
The Euro is the bastard offspring of miscegenation between the most unlikely of partners. If, in 1945, anyone would have been mad enough to suggest that within 20 years Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Britain, Holland and Belgium would find enough common cause to enter into an economic anschluss which subsumed long-cherished perceived national interests, he or she would have been immediately locked up and the key thrown away. Yet it happened. Economic alliance, including a number of common currency-parity protocols, was one of the first steps taken after the initial formation of the European Economic Community (EEC). Despite the internal and external birthing pains the EEC, aka the EC (European Community) and now aka the EU (European Union), was born.
At its heart is the European Commission and Parliament. The European Parliament is based in Strasbourg with frequent excursions to Brussels, but it is a rather ineffectual talking shop and will remain so until political union is finally achieved, if that ever happens. The real power in Europe lies with the European Commission – the EU’s bureaucracy – based permanently in Brussels. Politically and economically, the EU has been and continues to be dominated to a large extent by two of the most dogged of enemies prior to 1945, France and Germany.
The next logical step for any close economic alliance is monetary union. This partially occurred in 1999 with the adoption of the Euro. The countries which have adopted the Euro are known, collectively, as the Euro-zone. Not all the members of the EU have adopted it yet, however. Of these stopouts, Great Britain still remains the major non-Euro-zone member of the EU. Nonetheless, the overall economic clout of the EU rivals that of the US and, by extension, the Euro has become a powerful currency after its first faltering steps. The collective economic clout of the Euro-zone, even without Britain, exceeds that of the US despite the lack of policy cohesion among the members of the EU. This strength is an important point, and one that would not be lost on countries seeking to replace the USD as their reserve currency.
So, if one were to look around one for a replacement for the USD as the reserve currency then the Euro would have to be a natural choice. This is especially true if Euro-zone members happen to be one’s major trading partners. And because EU members are bound by treaty to keep their deficits within a very small percentage of GNP – unlike the unregulated chaos in the US – it is likely that, over time, the Euro will prove to be the most stable currency in the world, which from the perspective of a reserve currency must be a very attractive feature, indeed.
Veering sharply away from the economic to the politic, we confront the reality of the US president’s oft-repeated and near-inexplicable determination to stage Gulf War II despite ongoing protests from both within and without the USA. While not going into boringly repetitive detail the main stated reasons appear to be, in order of priority based on an unscientific estimate of the number of times each has been stated:
1. Saddam Hussein has been building up a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and therefore threatens the US.
2. Saddam Hussein has been funding and sheltering al Qaeda-like terrorists and therefore threatens the US
3. Saddam Hussein exists and therefore threatens the US.
The US is so concerned about the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to its security that it is willing to override the UN (nothing new there, of course) to put an end to that threat. 9/11 was a godsend to the Bush administration, since it seems, in and of itself, to have provided both a casus belli and a way of making Congress and the Senate fall over themselves to support what is otherwise an unsupportable act of naked aggression. The damage to Americans’ freedom arising from the Homeland Security heist against the body politic is neither here nor there in this context except for its providing the administration and its organs with the ability to suppress dissent by calling it “unpatriotic” and to enforce this by the questionable use of existing laws such as the material witness statutes.
There has been endless speculation as to the real reasons for going into Iraq. The main favourites here are:
1. It’s the oil, stupid.
2. Israel fears for its security.
3. President Bush sees Iraq as his father’s unfinished business seeking completion.
4. President Bush wants to make his own mark on history.
5. President Bush sees it as his duty as a (fundamentalist) Christian to suppress evil regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein.
6. It is one of the planks of the programme for American world dominance advocated by a neo-conservative think tank called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
There is an argument to be made for each of the six reasons above provided you don’t delve too far into the morality. But, from a geopolitical standpoint, only the first is truly supportable. There is a case to be made, morality aside, for securing a reliable oil supply even though only about 25% of the US’ oil comes from the Gulf region. Yet, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said, if that were the main reason then it would be cheaper and easier to simply cut a deal with Baghdad. You also have to consider the fact that, over the past few years anyway, the US has spent billions of dollars on military deployments to ensure that the oil flows from the sources to the US.
The Israeli argument is a nonsense. Israel is keen for the US to invade Iraq so that attention will be drawn away from its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Iraq invaded Kuwait for two reasons: Better access to the Gulf coast and for its oil reserves. There have been unrefuted claims that, in fact, Baghdad thought it had US agreement to its taking over Kuwait. At no time has Saddam Hussein obviously looked covetously at Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria or Jordan. A major and understandable Iraqi motive for attacking Turkey, for instance, is that the damming of the Euphrates inside Turkey threaten Iraq’s very existence by reducing Iraq’s water supply. The war with Iran, if inexcusable, was also understandable from a geopolitical standpoint – no dictator can afford to ignore neighbouring regimes which are based on principles completely outside of his control, such as fundamentalist Islam, because such things are catching and therefore dangerous. Oddly enough, although he didn’t win the war he has nevertheless effectively eliminated Iran and the mullahs as a threat to his power. Even during Gulf War I, the Scud missile attacks on Israel were opportunistic, unsupported and probably intended as nothing more than propaganda to impress the Arab world with Saddam Hussein’s Arab credentials in an attempt to break up the alliance against him. But the fact remains that Baghdad isn’t really interested in Israel and in no way threatens her.
The third, fourth and fifth reasons are the most imponderable. That George W. Bush is a fundamentalist Christian seems to be a fact. Fundamentalism – Christian, Jewish, Islamic or Hindu – implies the suspension of the normal critical faculties in favour of allowing faith to prevail and appears to go hand in hand with violence. Bush appears to be subject to those limitations. It would also appear that the wider Bush family regards the US as its personal fiefdom and probably few in the US or elsewhere would be surprised if another Bush was to put his name forward for the presidency in the future with a reasonable expectation of at least making it through the primaries.
It may well be that George W. himself sees Iraq as unfinished family business, but it also seems likely that he genuinely believes that it is his bounden Christian duty to put down the “evil” regime in Baghdad. Of course, one should also remember that his public utterances about the reasons for invading Iraq have been less than consistent in detail and very unconvincing, although perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. Helen Thomas from the Washington Post, who has seen eight presidents come and seven go during her tenure there, has labelled him as the “most incompetent” of them to date which, when considered in the light of 20/20 hindsight, is a pretty damning judgement.
That the President is supported by Rumsfeld, Rove, Fleischer, Rice and the rest of the Oval Office coterie is no surprise either. He is their patron and, right or wrong, without him they are politically uninfluential. Given their lacklustre performances in public it would appear that most of them would be unlikely to achieve high office on their own account, and this is probably no coincidence.
Neither is is coincidence that several leading members of the Bush administration including the Secretary of Defence and the Vice President – as well as the President’s brother – are supporters of the ultra-conservative (now called neo-conservative) PNAC. PNAC’s vision of a world dominated by America and American culture, embedded and enforced by American military might, is breathtaking in its arrogance. It is also totally implausible that it would succeed. It may be the underlying reason why most of Bush’s administration has been so enthusiastic in its support for the Iraqi adventure. But the script written by PNAC completely ignores the fundamental flaw in the very concept of world domination which has been tried, and has failed, twice in the last century: the rest of the world just won’t let it happen.
Colin Powell’s involvement in the White House’s unorchestrated litany of lies, including his very unconvincing performance at the UN in support of the White House-supplied “evidence” of Baghdad’s perfidy, has been very surprising.
Powell has been hugely respected by Americans and non-Americans alike. If he chose to stand for the Presidency on the Republican ticket or as a well-funded independent then it is very likely that he would become President in due course. He also has real combat experience and understands that war is no board game. So one must question why he has lent his name and risked his reputation to help along the White House’s push for a war that he probably regards as wrong, or at best, misguided.
There are only two possible reasons for this. Either he had managed to dodge involvement until directly ordered to speak at the UN by the President. Or he has discovered a valid reason to condone the prosecution of a war which, on the basis of the evidence available to date, is easier to describe as an act of US state terrorism than a legitimate projection of national force in defence of the country’s security.
Since Powell would appear to own sufficient personal integrity to simply walk away rather than be involved in something he doesn’t believe in, the second reason must hold good. What that might be is suggested below.
Leaving aside all the nonsensical reasons put forward by President Bush and his English sidekick, Tony Blair, as to exactly why Iraq has suddenly again become a deadly threat to the US’ concept of world security, for someone such as Colin Powell to actively support rather than simply quietly ignore the Iraqi situation, there must a compelling reason. It is this which leads inevitably to the contemplation of macroeconomics, the single area in which the US is most vulnerable but which has never been mentioned by the White House in the context of the Iraqi situation.
It is not physical or social terrorism which directly threatens the US’ security. Even another Twin Towers-type terrorist attack would not dent the US’ ability to function as a country or even materially shake the country’s boundless self-confidence. It is what it perceives as economic terrorism that it fears. And quite rightly. The US’s economic fate could well be decided by foreign nationals sitting in offices elsewhere around the world. A further and perhaps more ironic twist is that a lot of the damage would be done through the the US financial system itself.
It is difficult to avoid noticing that the Bush administration is singularly lacking in high-profile forward-looking economic advisors. Domestic microeconomic and macroeconomic policy appear to receive a very low priority compared to the apparently pressing need to project US influence externally by military means. But perhaps there is, indeed, some method in the madness? Could there be a causal link between the two?
It is suggested here that not only is there a link, but that it is the major reason why the US administration has chosen to attack Iraq rather than, say, North Korea, which definitely does pose a threat to world peace and US security. The dominance of the dollar is not threatened by North Korea, even though it has converted its reserves from USD to Euros, because it is a bit player in the world economy regardless of its plutonium production activities. It simply doesn’t matter.
Iraq is, on the other hand, an ideal object lesson. Iraq is an oil-producing nation which is currently effectively excluded from the marketplace because of the sanctions imposed at the inconclusion of the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq has also been defiant in resisting those sanctions since 1991. Iraq was a bad neighbour between 1979 when Iran embraced Islamic fundamentalism and 1991, but has been fairly quiet ever since, mainly because it was left with little to be unquiet with. It has been a brutal dictatorship since well before 1979, using its citizens both as targets and pawns. None of these facts has previously noticeably bothered the US despite an almost continuous Democratic presidency since 1991. But in 2000 Baghdad committed the single most unforgivable sin in the list of things the US Really Doesn’t Like Other People Doing. It thumbed its nose at the dollar, and in doing so showed others the way. Among those who appear to have learned the lesson besides North Korea have been Iran and Saudi Arabia, both oil-producing nations of some note. In fact, between them, the three countries – Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia – control nearly 50% of the known oil reserves. The odds are, in fact, that Iraq holds a much greater percentage than the currently known 11%, but no geological surveys have been carried out there since 1979.
To whom would the Iraqi situation be an object lesson? It would certainly be intended that Iran, which has already converted a considerable chunk of its copious oil-generated reserves from the USD to the Euro, should take note. Iran, of course, is part of the much-trumpeted “Axis of Evil”, along with Iraq and North Korea. Saudi Arabia is also hedging by buying Euros and, depending on who you believe, is possibly the fourth, if unannounced, member of the above-mentioned axis. The message is clear: “Threaten the USD’s hegemony too far, and you’re next!” And if the PNAC agenda is being followed, Syria must also be nervous.
Next, let us look at the US’ possible moves following the conquest. First, as a given, Iraq would move back to the USD as its reserve currency. But looking beyond that, Iraq currently contributes something less than 5% of the world’s oil supplies because of the sanctions. In theory, it should be producing 10-11% at a minimum. Once taken over, Iraqi oil field production could be brought on stream at any level the US chooses if Iraq were to be withdrawn from membership of OPEC. It is significant that the US is not and never has been a member. If the market is flooded with Iraqi oil, the world spot price for crude oil would be driven down.
This would break OPEC’s price/production controls which, for better or for worse, are officially intended to return a fair price for members’ oil while at the same time eking out the world’s only-too-finite oil reserves for as long as possible. And OPEC, which America regards with loathing, could actually be the US’ real target because OPEC has been contemplating committing the same capital crime that Iraq committed in 1999. OPEC, or at least some of its member nations, are considering a move away from the USD. The change would either be to adopt the Euro or the nomination of a basket of currencies to underpin an independent “petrounit” oil currency. This currency might or might not include the USD. If this was accomplished in whole or at least substantially, all of the ills discussed above which could befall the US as a result of the dumping of the USD as the reserve currency could easily happen.
OPEC will also have been watching events in Venezuela with interest. Venezuela has been bartering oil directly for goods from its trading partners, using no reserve currency except the oil itself. It is still somewhat experimental but seems to function adequately, as well it might given that many of Venezuela’s trading partners are Central and South American countries which have few external funds and even less access to either USD or Euros. In any case, it appears to work well enough for the CIA to have attempted to orchestrate a coup against the current Venezuelan President Chavez, which fortunately failed. Hell hath no fury like the dollar scorned.
In the short term, it may have an effect on some of the potential targets. Threats are threats after all, and the US is currently able to back up its threats with action, although the justification for doing so would be even flimsier than the tissue-thin rationale offered by the US administration for invading Iraq. Iran and Saudi Arabia may put their plans to trade in the Euro on hold. But for how long?
That will depend almost entirely on the American electorate and how it perceives the current President when he stands for re-election in 2004.
If, as seems likely, George W. Bush is voted out, the incoming President will be a Democrat. Democrats are traditionally a little less bellicose than Republicans. It would seem likely that the new President would attempt to extract the US from the mess of its own making as gracefully as possible. This would probably entail turning over Iraq – and its oil – to the Iraqis and standing down any other punitive measures against America’s “enemies” put in place by the current Administration. Obviously, there are huge grey areas which the US may exploit under the circumstances, but effectively the threat to world order posed by the US’s determination to protect the USD by military means would diminish.
The alternative scenario, which sees George W. Bush re-elected, is less easy to fathom ahead of time. It really all depends on how far the US administration goes after Iraq has been “liberated” and whether or not the PNAC model for global rule has been adopted in its entirety as Presidential policy. It also depends on whether President Bush can continue to hoodwink Congress into continuing to support him. If, as seems likely, any country that moves away from the USD as its reserve currency (or does not support US policies) is treated as an aggressor, then invasions of both Iran and Saudi Arabia, under whatever pretexts and in whatever form, seem likely. North Korea may also be on the agenda as pas the PNAC prescription. But the increased permanent militarisation, the continued extended expenditure and the internal disruption to US commerce incurred would play havoc with the US’ domestic economy which is already on extremely shaky ground.
And the fact is that it would all be counterproductive, and very probably terminally destructive to the hegemony of the USD – and the US itself – anyway. Inertia might see the entropic process delayed or slowed down to some extent, of course, but it will be no less inevitable for that.
Externally the US is increasingly being seen as a malevolent schoolyard bully rather than a benign superpower. US multilateralism is clearly dead, not that it was very healthy anyway. Its actions in the near future are most likely to be truly unilateral, taken in consultation with no one else. The UN has effectively been destroyed as a force for good by the infighting of February/March, 2003, and the US will use UN “obstructionism” as an excuse to act without so much as a tip of the hat to New York in the future. The UN will no doubt be invited in to clean up the messes afterwards in its probably new role of US housekeeper. In the short run, in any case. This is also part of the PNAC recipe for the furtherance of American global domination.
All of this will inevitably have the exact opposite effect that the current approach is intended to have, driving more and more countries to dump the USD as a reserve currency, moving to the Euro as a replacement. It will either occur as an independent process or will be accompanied by a general lurch away from friendship with the US to outright confrontation. It may well be that within 10 years the US will have only one self-avowed ally, Britain. The US has, in a few short years, squandered all of the trust and much of the goodwill through unilateralism which it built up over decades through dialogue. If, as seems more than likely, the UK and Norway – two of the world’s more significant oil producers – join the Euro-zone within the next few years, the US and its currency may well become truly isolated, a shunned giant with a pocketful of worthless trinkets. Europe, politically united – or at least agreed about the necessity for political cooperation – may well, of necessity, become the US’ main opponent, both economically and militarily.
Yes and no. In the event that the Euro largely replaces the USD as the reserve currency, there is one thing that can be done. Macoeconomically, the US can bow to the inevitable and start reducing the amount of currency in circulation at a rate which will ensure that there won’t suddenly be a glut of USD on the market to spark off domestic inflation. To ignore this would be absolutely disastrous. But to do it there has to be a plan in place to slow down the rate of conversion which is likely to appeal to its currency’s current clients.
Politically, the US needs to eschew the PNAC’s dangerously simplistic neo-conservative political agenda before any more damage is done if indeed, as it appears likely, that agenda is being followed. A change of government at the next elections both in the executive and in Congress will go a long way towards reducing tensions both domestically and overseas. But the foreign loss of trust in the US government and its actions, which must becoming apparent even to the Bush administration’s boosters, will be hard to repair It is not clear how this could be done in the timebox which the current administration’s actions may well have placed the country.
It will be interesting to observe what now happens.
Much of what has been discussed here is the result of reading news articles in print and on the Internet, plus an abiding interest in geopolitics and macroeconomics. When I read those articles, I was not intending to write this paper and didn’t necessarily note down the source, the location and the date. Therefore the following list is neither complete nor necessarily representative, but it will provide a springboard for anyone interested in following the subject up.
Bisharat, G.: “Impending War in Iraq: American Jihand”; SF Chronicle; February 13 2003. http://www.diggers.org/freecitynews/_disc1/00000051.htm
Clark W.: “The Euro Effect – Part 3”; EV World; February 22 2003. http://www.evworld.com/databases/storybuilder.cfm?storyid=498
Conservative Causus, The: “The Euro: An Approaching Crisis for US?”; February 24 1999. http://www.conservativeusa.org/euro.htm
Douthwaite, R.; “Energy Money and Power”; FEASTA; undated; http://www.feasta.org
Greider W.: “The End of Empire”; The Nation; September 23 2002; http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020923&s=greider
Henderson, Hazel: “Beyond Bush’s Unilateralism: Another Bi-Polar World or A New Era of Win-Win?”; June 2002. http://www.hazelhenderson.com
Herbener, J.M.: “Perils of the Dollar Standard”; The Free Market; Volume 16, Number 5; May 1998. http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=81
Liu, Henry C.K.: “US Dollar Hegemony Has Got To Go”; Online Asia Times; April 11 2002. http://www.atimes.com/global-econ/global-econ.html
Mackay, N; “Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President “; Sunday Herald; September 15 2002; http://www.sundayherald.com/print27735
PNAC Home Page: http://www.newamericancentury.org/
Recknagel, C.; “Iraq: Baghdad Moves To Euro”; RFE/RL; November 1 2000; http://www.rferl.org
Remnick, D.: “After The Battle”; The New Yorker; March 24 2003. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/?030331ta_talk_remnick
Ruppert, M.C.; “The Unseen Conflict”; FTW Publications; October 18, 2002. http://www.copvcia.com/
Scott, P.D: “Bush's Deep Reasons For War On Iraq: Oil, Petrodollars, And The Opec Euro Question”; Undated, early 2003. http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/iraq.html
Sennholz, Dr H.F.: “A Perilous Dollar Standard”; The Gilded Opinon, USAGold; October 28 1999. http://www.usagold.com/SennholzPerilDollar.html
Yergin D.: “Gulf Oil: How Important Is It Anyway?”; Financial Times; March 21 2003. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1045511979092&p=1012571727132
Theresa Elder, Jo Hilton, Cris Tollefsen and David Check
 The Euro-zone is that group of European Union (EU) countries which have adopted the Euro as its currency. A small number of EU countries, and most notably Britain, have opted to retain the national currency.