Learned a few interesting things at the Monetary Reform Conference where I spent Friday and Saturday. One speaker made a sort of offhand remark about the Sucre, new Latin American regional currency, which was not familiar to me. Turns out this is a real and significant thing, whereby a currency is created for use in international trade, where the dollar would heretofore have been used. Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador are currently involved; the best description seems to be here. Claimed advantages include cheaper transaction costs and reduced exchange rate risks.
I recall that the Sucre used to be the name of Ecuador’s currency, but apparently that was replaced by U S dollars in 2000. Why Ecuador would find it advantageous to use the new Sucre for international exchanges isn’t clear, but perhaps they are looking to get away from dollars.
More on the Monetary Conference later.