Memories of a Reserve Currency Collapse

loading Mobs attempting to overturn a bus.

If the history of global capitalism is anything to go by, massive social unrest can be only one financial event away.

As the ringgit tests multi-year lows and I hear people talk about the coming collapse of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, I look back to my time in Penang in 1967 when I witnessed first hand the severe social consequences that a sudden collapse in a reserve currency can bring.

Malaysia in November 1967 was just about four years old – though it had existed as independent “Malaya” since 1957. The country had a currency board system with the Malaysian dollar backed by the British pound sterling which then was in widespread use in former British colonies.


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