IN THE “Three-Body Problem”, a popular Chinese science-fiction novel, the planet Trisolaris lurches between climatic stability and chaos as it follo
IN THE “Three-Body Problem”, a popular Chinese science-fiction novel, the planet Trisolaris lurches between climatic stability and chaos as it follows an unpredictable orbit around the three suns in its star system. The solution, the inhabitants conclude, is to invade the Earth, so as to enjoy its smooth single-sun orbit. China’s central bank has been making a similar monetary voyage, in reverse.
For years the yuan revolved around the dollar. That benefited China, but it also stored up problems, which were exposed most dramatically in 2015, when it suffered massive capital outflows. Since then the central bank has steadily moved the yuan to a multi-currency orbit, tracking 24 in all. In economic terms, this is known as a currency-basket regime. In Trisolaris terms it looks like a “long Stable Era”, desirable but ultimately doomed.
Our planet’s inhabitants tend to analyse the yuan in comparison with the biggest currency in our solar system. So its recent depreciation…