After Hagerty Reveals Past Writings, Biden Chief Economist Nominee Flip-flops on Support for Dethroning the U.S. Dollar

April 18, 2023

Nominee Jared Bernstein agrees with Hagerty that the U.S. Dollar should remain the global reserve currency, contradicting past statements

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today extracted an agreement from Jared Bernstein, nominee to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, that it is important to maintain the role of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency, directly contradicting his past advocacy for dethroning the U.S. Dollar, which Hagerty highlighted in the hearing.

“I’d like to start with you and talk about what I see as a very troubling trend that’s been developing,” Hagerty said. “That’s the growing momentum and efforts of our allies and our adversaries to weaken the [U.S.] Dollar’s role as the international reserve currency. That includes Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin… Brazil’s Lula calls for an end to dollar trade dominance. China applauds this. Even Malaysia sought to promote alternatives to the dollar.”

Hagerty revealed Bernstein’s past writings in which he pushes for the U.S. to willingly cede the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. “You’ve written a number of op-eds pushing for the U.S. to willingly cede the Dollar’s dominance, arguing that we should, and I’m going to use some quotes, ‘be happy to shed this privilege,’ and that we should, ‘dethrone king dollar.’ And so, I’m trying to understand if you seem to believe that China would be better off if this were to happen? I’m trying to understand where you are on this point right now. Do you think that the United States would actually be better off if the [U.S.] Dollar were to somehow lose its status as the world’s reserve currency?”

“Definitely not, Senator,” Bernstein replied.

Bernstein attempted to defend his writings, claiming that he weighed both sides of the argument, yet his writings unequivocally show his support for dethroning the U.S. Dollar. In a 2014 op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Dethrone ‘King Dollar’”, Bernstein stated: “the government needs to drop its commitment to maintaining the dollar’s reserve-currency status.” And in an op-ed in the Washington Post four years later, Bernstein added: “If one consequence of the Trump era is that the dollar loses some degree of its reserve status, I will consider that a good thing” and added that “we should be happy to shed” the “burden” of reserve-currency status.

Despite his past writings, when asked by Hagerty where he stands and where the Biden Administration will stand on this issue should he be confirmed, Bernstein claimed to now share Hagerty’s view on “the importance of the dollar as the dominant reserve currency.”

Bernstein’s assurance comes as the Biden Administration has remained silent on recent efforts by China and Russia to undermine the role of the U.S. Dollar.

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