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"Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire"

The U.S. dollar may be looking a bit shaky lately. But an alternative proposed by Russia looks to be far worse.

Russia has proposed a new currency basket consisting of, among other things, gold, the yuan, and the ruble. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Compared to the dollar, the Russian ruble looks like Confederate money. And the comparison is apt, because Russia has had a civil war in the past century. America hasn't.

Russia, to a greater extent than any other country in the world, was devastated by World War II. More to the point, Russia was one of the main victims of the (mostly) "Asian flu" crisis of 1998. The ruble was crushed by both events.

The United States, and hence the dollar, is politically stable, if not (currently) economically stable. China, on the other hand, is economically stable, if not poliltically stable. (Its last civil war was 60 years ago, and it fears the outbreak of another one.) Russia is neither pollitically nor economically stable. It is more like a "jackal" than a "lion" on the world stage. As such, its currency shouldn't be the linchpin of anything.