Geithner, Bernanke reject new global currency idea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday dismissed suggestions by leading emerging economies that the global economy move away from using the dollar as the main reserve currency.

In a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, asked Geithner: “Would you categorically renounce the United States moving away from the dollar and going to a global currency as suggested this morning by China and also by Russia, Mr Secretary?”

Geithner replied, “I would, yes.”

She posed the same question to Bernanke, who said: “I would also.”

Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan on Monday urged an overhaul of the global monetary system to allow for wider use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) created by the International Monetary Fund as an international reserve asset in 1965.

Zhou’s comments followed remarks by Russia last week which said it would put forward a proposal at a meeting of the Group of 20 in London on April 2 for the creation of a new global reserve currency.

Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also knocked down the idea of dislodging the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency, telling an audience in Washington on Monday: “The dollar’s position ... remains unchallenged.”