The Dollar Hen by Milo Hastings - goodreads.com

Posted by 2018 article


The world’s largest companies took a major step back over the past year. Cumulative sales of the Global 500 — Fortune’ s annual list of the biggest companies on the planet ranked by revenue, in dollars, for the previous fiscal year—declined for the first time since 2010. And not by a token amount either. Total revenue shrank from $31.2 trillion in fiscal 2014 to $27.6 trillion in 2015, or a fall of 11.5%. Profits dropped by 11.2%, to $1.48 trillion.

There are plenty of reasons for the reversal. A slowdown in China’s once-booming economy has affected companies worldwide. Growth in the U.S. and Europe remains modest at best. And sustained low oil prices have erased billions in sales for giant petroleum producers like Exxon Mobil (xom) , Royal Dutch Shell (rds.a) , and Sinopec .

But one macroeconomic trend looms largest of all: the explosive comeback of the U.S. dollar and the wide-ranging impact of its renewed strength on global trade.

Although experiments with paper money did occur throughout the early history of the country, they were largely unsuccessful. People, for good reason, didn't trust the notes and preferred gold and silver coin. In 1861, needing money to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized the issuance of Demand notes in $5, $10 and $20 denominations. The Demand notes were so named because they were redeemable in coin "on demand." The notes were nicknamed Greenbacks, a name which is still in use today to refer to United States currency.

The first $1 bill was issued in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note with a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, the Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln.

The National Banking Act of 1863 established a national banking system and a uniform national currency. Banks were required to purchase U.S. government securities as backing for their National Bank Notes. Although United States Notes were still widely accepted, most paper currency circulating between the Civil War and World War I were National Bank Notes. They were issued from 1863 through 1932. From 1863 to 1877 National Bank Notes were printed by private bank note companies under contract to the Federal government. The Federal government took over printing them in 1877.

The world’s largest companies took a major step back over the past year. Cumulative sales of the Global 500 — Fortune’ s annual list of the biggest companies on the planet ranked by revenue, in dollars, for the previous fiscal year—declined for the first time since 2010. And not by a token amount either. Total revenue shrank from $31.2 trillion in fiscal 2014 to $27.6 trillion in 2015, or a fall of 11.5%. Profits dropped by 11.2%, to $1.48 trillion.

There are plenty of reasons for the reversal. A slowdown in China’s once-booming economy has affected companies worldwide. Growth in the U.S. and Europe remains modest at best. And sustained low oil prices have erased billions in sales for giant petroleum producers like Exxon Mobil (xom) , Royal Dutch Shell (rds.a) , and Sinopec .

But one macroeconomic trend looms largest of all: the explosive comeback of the U.S. dollar and the wide-ranging impact of its renewed strength on global trade.



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