Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Inwieweit transferierbar sind die RGW-Währungen?
Credit and Capital Markets – Kredit und Kapital, Vol. 12 (1979), Iss. 1 : pp. 121–138
How Transferable are Comecon Currencies?
The transferable ruble (TR) was unable to develop the qualities that are indispensable for an organic relationship with other currencies (including the currencies of the Comecon countries themselves) any better than the national currencies in the Comecon area. Unlike the latter, however, it cannot rely for support on the internal price structures in the area in which it is valid. Since it is constrained to reduce a price basis alien to production conditions in the Comecon area to acommon Comecon denominater, it performs this operation with an artificially determined conversion coefficient. But it cannot manage to arrive at an economically substantiated exchange rate vis-a-vis either the hard currencies of the west or the national currencies of the Comecon countries, which will serve as a basis for convertibility. The efforts to have third countries participate in ruble clearing have persisted equally as long as the debate on the possibility of making the TR at least partially convertible. In the Comecon area, however, western countries will be able to achieve no more with TR credit balances than the Comecon members themselves. For the decisive factor for foreign trade in this market is not money as universal purchasing power, but the deliveries agreed upon with the various partners. A clearing and quota exchange in intra-Comecon foreign trade and concurrently east-west trade based on foreign exchange clearing scarcely promise success over the long run. On the contrary, multilateral foreign trade would seem to be desirable in which the sole decisive criterion of competition, the comparative cost advantages, would take full effect. Orientation to an integrated world market would require of the west the successive elimination of crisis phenomena in the world monetary system and, until that is achieved, co-ordination of foreign trade and credit policy with respect to the east, and from the east the adjustment of control mechanisms to the needs of an effective international division of labour.