Visualizing The World's Shifting FX Reserves

Tyler Durden's picture

It’s estimated that the pound sterling made up around 64% of the world’s official FX reserves in 1899. It had fallen to about 48% by 1913.  As you'll likely glean from the graphic below, Addogram notes that historic recurrence seems to like operating in base-100 when it comes to reserve currencies. The dollar's share of global (official allocated) FX reserves has fallen from 72% in 1999 to 62% at present. As we have pointed out before - reserve currency status doesn't last forever...


The center of each “dynamic” pie chart below shows the composition of official (allocated) foreign exchange reserves in 1999. The further you move outwards from the center, the closer you draw to the present day.


Chart: Addogram

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Orly's picture

More evidence of how the dollar owns the world.

Sell gold.



SafelyGraze's picture

nice looking graphs!

have seen them on the coin channel


Aziz's picture

"USA has potentially infinite dollars.

Therefore USA wins."

— Ben S. Bernanke 

BigJim's picture

 nice looking graphs!

Really?? I was just thinking how crap dynamic pie graphs are for presenting data like this.

machineh's picture

The problem with a bar graph is that the dollar bar would be ten times taller than the others.

Here the pie graph is eye-catching. I was hoping to see the one from 1899, though.

Orly's picture

Before the crisis, we owned more of the world, that's true.  But...Bert (as my mother-in-law would say...)

If the USD hadn't been used to buy up a half-trillion dollars (prolly more like a cool trill...) worth of foreign currencies during the financial meltdown, then the picture would look fairly much the same as it did back in the day.

The USD dollar is as strong as it ever was.  In fact, most foreign currencies are much, much weaker than they were at that time while the USD has more than held its own...except maybe the Polish zloty.

Nice graphs but nothing to see here.  At all.

It should be obvious to you with a bit of reason.  So why don't you go and do vulgar somewhere else?

old naughty's picture

but but...have they factored in the China - Korea (that's South) Yuan-Won swap lines?

And will that draw more Asian countries in?

WAR !!!

akak's picture

Orly, you are full of shit.

The USD dollar is as strong as it ever was.

Yeah, and the sky is purple and grass is orange.  Such a ridiculous statement is obviously intended as nothing but perverse trolling just for kicks, as any child can see that the US dollar, indeed EVERY fiat currency, is far weaker than it was at any point in the past that you care to name.  Or are you trying to deny that fiat currency debasement is ubiquitous, universal and never-ending?

Really, your assholish comments are positively nadleresque in their desperation and inanity.

Orly's picture

I'm sorry...

Sky is purple, assholish trolling.

Hella refutation to my quantifiable arguments.

Guess you lose again.


In fact...

" any child can see that the US dollar, indeed EVERY fiat currency, is far weaker than it was at any point in the past that you care to name."

That statement right there demonstrates you're as clueless as the day is long...but you don't even know why.  Toodles, doogan.  Don't you have something shiny and mesmerising to look at?

EscapeKey's picture

Oh FFS, the only reason why the US Dollar is around, is because of the debt denominated in US Dollars, and because commodities are traded in Dollars. However, the total debt denominated in the US$ has been on a continuous slide for a long time, and entities are talking about - and indeed starting to - bypass trading in Dollars.

But hey, if you think a piece of paper with arbitrary denomination is actually intrinsically worth more than a hard asset in times of rapid expansionary monetary policies, then I truly invite you to sell everything and buy every Dollar in sight.

CPL's picture

60% of the people you ever meet will have a tumour as well.  I suppose the growth and outcome is about the same.

akak's picture

Orly, my refutation of your idiotic "the dollar is as strong today as ever" claim was already contained in my last post --- as well as being self-evident during any visit to a grocery store, or in any perusal of one's rising utility bills, rising insurance premiums, etc.

Are you REALLY trying to claim that the dollar has not lost ANY purchasing power --- the only metric that truly matters when discussing the 'strength' (make that "relative weakness") of any fiat currency --- over the past century, or even just over the past decade?  Even you are not that stupid, so I have to assume that your initial post here was simply trolling to get a rise out of others.

Orly's picture

Perhaps you should go back and read what I said, actually.  What part of the USD is worth about seven cents of what it was in 1913 do I have to explain to you again?

I also gave you reasons for that.  I also said that it doesn't matter because the USD is still the strongest currency on the planet by a mile and I gave ample reasons for that.

Now, if you would kindly read and not get into your "mode" just to impress your gold-bug friends by calling me names, then perhaps you could learn something.  If not learn something, then maybe you could stretch your mind a little bit to try to understand another possible perspective.

When your significant other disagrees with your obviously entrenched and rigid positions, do you call them names like "idiot" and "asshole"?

No?  Why not?  Oh because you're not married any more?  What a surprise.

And by the way, there was no refutation of my position.  It was all blusterdy-duck, harrumph-harrumph and ad hominem attack.  Either way, whatever...


P.S. Perhaps you should take a very basic course in foreign exchange because that may help you realise that all currencies are relative to each other.  And, no, gold is not a currency, at least not in any market on this planet.

akak's picture

Orly, once again with your disingenuous bullshit.  You really are a piece of work.

Perhaps you should take a very basic course in foreign exchange because that may help you realise that all currencies are relative to each other.

No, wrong again asshole --- although that is exactly the message that our handlers and rulers, those who constantly manipulate and inflate the ersatz money that they force us to use at the point of a gun, would LIKE us to believe, and constantly try to hoodwink us with, isn't it? 

No, currencies are NOT fundamentally and meaningfully measured relative to other, simultaneously depreciating fiat currencies, they are measured against the prices of REAL goods and services, i.e. their purchasing power.  To say that "the dollar today is as strong as it ever was" merely because it is roughly on par with a basket of other more-or-less equally depreciating currencies is merely playing semantic games and forcing the reader into an intellectual hall of mirrors whose only exit is a shot to the head (and the wallet).


boogey_bank's picture

Hi Orly,

how are You?… My 2 cents about the matter...I think people is right when says that usd is a loosing bet in the long term. It’s true... it has lost 95% purchasing power from 1913 (a very sad year for mankind indeed).  But You are also right when You say that is the strongest currency in the basket right now. For instance the zar, a currency of a gold producer country is actually taking a bath and so all zar investors. How is that possible? IMHO it’s is not all that mystery. Think about Exter pyramid and think about the fact that both gld and usd are at the cusp of the inverse pyramid. All the world assets are linked to the usd... and on the event of a crisis people liquidate their assets in order to raise cash to buy necessities that become every day less affordable for the masses...

So I think the usd has a tremendous appreciation potential. It’s weekly point and figure chart still claims for a PO of 103 that imply an eurusd level around 0.92... Problem is that staying invested in usd for an european j6p worried about the destiny of euro is suicidal. Right now the eurusd has flared till 1.3077. Some people claim that is important to stay invested in EM currencies, but I don’t think so. I think a lot of currencies of virtuous or commodity rich countries will experiment in the next years a sudden death syndrome.

This remainds me of the days in october 2008. At that time in Italy there was a guy, an indipendent advisor

that was calling doom over the two major banks in Italy (indeed I call them “the two ill twins giants”). He advised to move people nest egg in smaller (and more costly) banks. These ill banks didn’t fail in the catastrophe of 2008   and perhaps you can understand the reason in these videos

Big banks are ill but are situated near the top of  economic power pyramid.

So in the long run usd and big banks are doomed. Gold will win the currency war, becouse it hasn’t no central banker peddling and sweating in order to debase it. But for gold bugs winning the “saving wars” ... well it’s another story. There are liquidity issues. If gold is going to skyrocket and at the same time is going into hiding ... well it isn’t any good news for people. What I don’t understand is fanatism. Gold market I think is rigged more or less like all markets at present. Problem is not to admit or not that gold market is rigged. Problem is to survive in that market. I think is insane for a gold bug to have paper gold allergy. If I had phys gold, well at this right moment I would buy short gold paper like a mad in order to hedge my position (with a tight stop)...and I would buy long gold paper at any favorable momentum spike, becouse paper gold is going to implode perhaps, but in the mean time you gain bucks ready to be spent instead of liquidating a phys asset that a goldbug knows will be hard to obtain in the next future...


And now some tech question about automated trading...

I have dwelved deep in zh archives searching for Your talks on the matter

Indeed it was an open minder to me (I’m a discretionary trader ). I have always read on the net that the best trading system makes a lot of bucks for a while... after that you have to ask the vendor the tuning updates. What seems to me wrong is the approach. It is the holy grail approach. A fx bot has to be able to perform the best in all the seasons. Indeed carbon based traders are specialized in tribes. We have scalpers, momentum traders, swing traders, spread traders and so on.

So could You give me info about what bot do You use and for what purpose (which pair, tf and settings). For what I have understood,


About momentum trading,

You usually are long in low spread pairs with forex transporter (eurusd 1h tf, slip 3, tp 25, step 85)

Is possible to use it on goldusd? (at this right moment I’m short on it with this settings: slip 24, tp 224, step 704) (I haved multiplied all for 8 given the different pip value and added the slippage) 

You are usually short with gbpbot with certain settings (I don’t have it – I’ve thinked to buy it on forexmall)

What do You use for a market trapped in a rectangle?

How can I do a proper setting for this robots? What astonish me is that I’ve read a boatload of books about trading but I haven’t yet find a book that is about using forex bots in this way and about bot settings. Even the software houses that build them seem to waste more time at giving them cool names, than building extensive documentation that states what task the bot do and how the bot achieve it.

Thank You and pardon me for the long post.

Orly's picture

You're right about big banks but wrong about the dollar and especially wrong about gold.

As for automated trading, I would prefer to talk off the air, if you don't mind.


boogey_bank's picture

sure pm

CPL's picture

You might want somewhere more private than email to discuss anything today.  Back room privacy bill passed, all your mail belong to Fed now.

EscapeKey's picture

Oh yawn, one fiat currency, backed by other fiat currencies, is stronger than the other currencies, also backed by worthless paper.

You forgot to throw in that "deficits don't matter".

BigJim's picture

The USD has lost value in both nominal (ie, USDX) and absolute terms (purchasing power).

So what the fuck are you talking about?

EscapeKey's picture

USDX is bit of a bad measure, as it's in comparison to a basket of currencies which are ALSO following a rapid expansionary policy (and which are backed by "reserves" consisting of the other currencies).

It's a giant circle jerk which inevitably breaks.

BigJim's picture

Indeed, if a person only looks at USDX then in a situation where EVERYBODY is devaluing their currency simultaneously, you wouldn't see any change in USD 'strength'... except you'd be a bit puzzled why you're now paying $10 for a loaf of bread.

ilovefreedom's picture

You saying the USD is strong as it ever was, is like saying a horse is the prettiest horse in the glue factory.

It doesn't mean that the horse won't get turned into glue... maybe if we're lucky we'll be the last currency turned into glue, but with all of the cross held and liable transactions that seems unlikely.

The system only works as long as you have faith, once you lose faith, the USD will be worth more as toilet paper than currency.

SmallerGovNow2's picture

how much you got?  I'll buy all you got.... ummmm.... physical only....

Dr. Engali's picture

Throughout my investing career,I have found that when everybody is on the same side of the trade is usually the best time to be on the other side.

Hangfire's picture

Sell gold and buy Apple, hurry before it's too late!

gjp's picture

I guess gold isn't an FX reserve, but it be worth showing the reported value of gold reserves in comparison.

lasvegaspersona's picture

The ECB holds over 60% of its reserves as gold. Started as 30% and without adding any weight is now higher (as the dollar weakens).

Row Well Number 41's picture

IF you believe them, and if you believe it is unencumbered, and if they are not including paper gold.  It's a lot of big ifs.



marathonman's picture

The Fed is holding that gold for them right?  Oh snap!

SmallerGovNow2's picture

looks like no "major" change in percentages YOY.  10% variance perhaps (to the downside for dollars).  wake me when it's 30% or a serious acceleration YOY...

Orly's picture


You deserve a doggy biscuit.

No.  Come on.  It's yours...


Everybodys All American's picture

Bernanke and Obama legacy. 6 trillion in new debt. Another 8 trillion in the next four years. By then the transformation will have happened. Thanks for nothing ...

Tirpitz's picture

One man's debt, is another man's asset - in our crazy world.

Where does all the freshly printed money/debt go?

francis_sawyer's picture

More Chinese jews will be needed to kick the ponzi farther forward... Plan B would be to colonize the African continent and somehow seed the idea that somewhere back in ancient history, tribes of pygmies oppressed pious & hardworking jews using their unscrupulous dynastic powers...

newengland's picture


The corporatists headed by Rothschild, Oppenheimer, the Trilateral Commission ( and their little pets like Rockefeller, Bush, Clintons, Brown, Blair etc) hit the jackpot when they figured out how to define/misrepresent  jew, democracy, no cost to themselves, whilst they rape the world, pay no tax, and urge the masses to do more, pay more, suffer more...forward to dystopia.

blunderdog's picture

I gave him a thumbs up for condensing that much crazy into so few words.

newengland's picture

The AshkeNAZI are counterfeit jews, according to some true rabbis who see that a hateful warring tribe pushed into Russia chose the Talmud because their ruler was so disgusted with them that he wanted to bring some restraint to their hateful ways.

Clearly, his intentions were good, but the warring hateful tribe continues its inbred psycho ways. Maybe that's why they believe in eugenics and genetically modified food. Psychos seeking to rationalise their hateful ways.

Atomizer's picture

Danske Bank: "A new normal demands New Standards"


Looking thru the eyes of hopeful visionaries’, yet already knowing the outcome of a failed plan. Catch 22 bitches!! Someone grab that central planner a box of tissues.


newengland's picture

The AshkeNAZI gutted Britain and Europe...then took the U.S. in 1913 with the founding of the Federal Reserve Board, a private corporation, despite name.

Now that the AshkeNAZI have gutted the U.S., their globalist agenda moves to the Far East and Africa.

This is the way of the Trilateral Commission, co-founded by Rockefeller and Rothschild, with Oppenheimers and others in the shadows, buying greedy ambitious political dupes and bureaucrats.


Atomizer's picture

Ummm, I'm afraid other families are involved in this state of chaos. As stated, you'll see new unknown faces on teevee.

newengland's picture

Fair point, Atomizer.

But the house slave is no different than the field slave, in my opinion.