English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Stimulated with a series of press articles dealing with effects of S&P’s recent move for downgrading US rating from AAA to AAA negative and that of Japan from to AA – to AA-negative (If I’m correct) and subsequent argument of trustworthiness of rating firms, and also being a citizen of the country gasping under the mounting public debt surpassing 200% of GDP, I’m interested in reading articles on country debt and sovereign risk issues these days.

Though I thought there is a special (technical) term to express the right, privilege and exclusivity of key currency issuing country i.e. United State in one or two words, I cannot recall it. Can somebody teach me that economics jargon, if you know?

share|improve this question
If you mean a term that would only apply to the US, because it is issuer of the world's reserve currency, then there is no single term for that, at least not in common use in the English language financial press. – Marcin Apr 30 '11 at 9:06
@Martin. It's the term to be applied to any key currency issuing country, but U.S is de-fact sole country that issues the currency worthy of the name of key currency, as euro still has not power as grobal currency as dollars have. I thought I've read an English word to represent for that notion in some Japanese reference book of economics. I tried to recall it hard, but I can't remember. It could be 'monetary authority' as Stacker suggests. My memory is vague. I want to explain my friend that Japan's situation is far more serious than U.S. because we don't have stg. like'monetary authority.' – Yoichi Oishi Apr 30 '11 at 9:56
Just so you know, the phrase is "de facto" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_facto) and not "de-fact". It's Latin, and means "by fact". It's counterpart is "de jure" (pronunced "day your-ray"), which means "by law". "De jure" is the way that things are supposed to happen which is set in law, and "de facto" is how they really happen. So, a leader who is just a figurehead and doesn't really do anything, but still has powers under law is a de jure leader, while those who really govern are the de facto leaders. Someone who has power under law and uses it is both a de jure and de facto leader. – Phoenix May 4 '11 at 10:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think the term you're looking for is monetary authority.

See also Central Bank.

A definition of key/reserve currency.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.