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Since the end of World War II, the United States' share in world GDP has fallen from nearly 30 percent to about 18 percent.Over the same period, China's share of world GDP almost quadrupled, to around 16 percent (just behind the U.S.), and emerging markets now account for about 60 percent of global output, up from about 40 percent in the immediate postwar years. The postwar Bretton Woods arrangements institutionalized the role of the U.S. dollar as the main reserve currency, and until the 1970s, about two-thirds of global GDP was anchored to the greenback.Over 60 percent of all countries (accounting for more than 70 percent of world GDP) use the U.S. dollar as their anchor currency.At that time, the U.S. dollar was backed by gold.Over time, fulfilling the global demand for reserves caused a steady rise in the ratio of "paper dollar" reserves to gold reserves, which was incompatible with maintaining the official dollar/gold parity. Now as then, the U.S. could meet the rest of the world's appetite for dollars by issuing more dollar debt.
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