I went onto Pinterest and I found this:

Thanks this website
Thanks this website

Which I think is a pretty excellent shorthand guide to what I spent weeks talking about in that Petrodollar Wars series of blog posts.

The only slight adjustment I would perhaps mention: when people talk about currencies being “unbacked”, they’re not really unbacked. This isn’t monopoly money.

Currencies are backed by trade. And specifically, I’d say the trade in key commodities: oil, iron, platinum, gold, etc. As long as the commodity trade takes place in currency (rather than in direct exchange of oil for iron, or whatever), then you are always able to go and exchange your unit of currency for a unit of gold/oil/platinum/etc.

And/or exchange your unit of currency (the Rand) for units of the currency (the US dollar) that would be accepted in return for a unit of gold/oil/platinum/etc.

Sure, perhaps no one is explicitly guaranteeing that. But it’s pretty much guaranteed.

Happy Friday.

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha.