Russia has been buying up gold like no one’s business and collaborating with China to move away from the US dollar.
This is has been going on for some time. Most Americans don’t understand the significance of it.
A large portion of the financial shenanigans that the US gets away with that no other country could is due to the dollar being the world’s ‘reserve currency’. A reserve currency is one which all sovereign nations hold a pool of for the purpose of international transactions. IOW, two nations may not agree on the value of each other’s currency for the purpose of a transaction, but they agree on the value of the dollar. So, commerce between nations flows smoothly.
It is not true that a “reserve currency” must be the currency of any particular nation.
Prior to Bretton Woods, the “reserve currency” was gold. Since all currencies in the world were backed by hard metal, you could compute the value of a unit of currency by simple division.
As any good gold bug will tell you (in painful detail, sometimes, almost like a life insurance salesperson’s pitch) backing the currency to hard metal limited drastically the financial shenanigans a nation could engage in.
However, a single-metal based currency poses its own problems, not the least of which is that gold is really really heavy and hard to move around. But more to the point, a gold-mine-rich nation’s currency gets inflated in value unrelated to the state of that nation’s economy, while the small country without such natural resources gets shortchanged.
What Russia and China are apparently working on is a much fairer method of valuation, that being a return to a resource-backed currency based on a “basket of goods”, the exact makeup of the basket determined by the fairest mix of resources possible. Hard assets like gold and oil, but also softer assets like agricultural production. So that no country gets shortchanged in the process.
That, of course, is rumor, and it’s possible that what Russia and China roll out is nothing more than another gold-backed currency. But the point is that the US is rightly terrified that another reserve currency gains general acceptance in the world; and it would not be surprising for the US to do anything in its power to block it, to prevent the substantial loss of value of the dollar (and subsequent domestic inflation) that could possibly result, as well as the possible loss of global worldwide economic leadership.