For the past 75 years, the U.S. dollar has enjoyed a unique status as the preeminent global currency. Used broadly in international commerce and widely held by sovereign governments, the Greenback remains by far the most important currency and as such conveys special benefits to the American economy. But nothing is constant, and a confluence of structural changes internationally and U.S. policy errors is calling into question the sustainability of the dollar's rule, with potentially profound implications.
The United States emerged from World War II as the dominant power, and institutionalized its hegemony in a new global financial and currency system agreed to by the victorious nations at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 created the World Bank and the International Monetary fund, and established the U.S.