The Endgame: Enforcement and Acquiescence to a US-Led World Order?

  • Will Hickey


In theory, colonialism ended in the latter half of the twentieth century, but it still is very much alive and well by the usage of the US dollar, the world’s real exchange medium. The entire Westphalian system is underwritten by finance. Yet, can the blind lead the blind? Despite being more than $22 trillion in debt (and technically impossible to ever repay this, even with roaring economic growth year-on-end) the US dollar, US financial system access, and US debt obligations all underpin the world’s finances. Those who have the gold make the rules is an appropriate saying. All ascriptions to US dollar-denominated debt instruments, such as bonds and stocks, are subject to US rules and laws, which have a global reach. As most countries’ sovereign debt holdings are in US dollars, the US then becomes not only the world’s de facto economic ruler, but also its enforcer. It is only logical then that any global solution for public goods problems (i.e., climate change, plastic waste, etc.), cross border finance, or economic policies priced or funded in dollars would be subject to US rules. Will the US take on this mantle beyond Westphalia, but even further, will a world of diverging politics acquiesce to it?

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Will Hickey
    • 1
  1. 1.Former two-time US Fulbright Professor, 2003 & 2009Professor of Management, GDUFSCantonChina

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