China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), is joining the big leagues: On October 1, 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will officially anoint the RMB as a major global reserve currency by including it in the basket of currencies that make up the Fund’s international reserve assets, known as special drawing rights (SDRs). But is hype of the RMB’s rise overblown? Could it ever supplant the U.S. dollar as the dominant global reserve currency? Can an ascendant RMB withstand the risks of a slowdown or hard landing in China?
On September 23, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings hosted the launch of “Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi,” featuring the book’s author, Brookings senior fellow Eswar Prasad. Distinguished panelists joining him to discuss the China’s growing economic clout and the RMB’s rise included: Ben Bernanke, distinguished fellow at Brookings; Jin Zhongxia, executive director for China at the IMF; and Caroline Atkinson, head of global public policy at Google with a long career in international monetary and diplomatic affairs. Greg Ip, chief economics commentator at The Wall Street Journal, moderated.