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Entry from February 01, 2012

A “petrodollar” (petroleum + dollar) is a United States dollar earned by a country (such as an OPEC country) in the sale of its petroleum exports to another country. Georgetown University economics professor Ibrahim Oweiss has written about petrodollars and is credited with the word’s coinage by Wikipedia, but there is insufficient documentary evidence that he used the term first in 1973.

Former commerce secretary Peter G. Peterson was credited with using “petrodollar” in a July 1973 Washington (DC) Post article and in an August 13, 1973 Time magazine article titled “Pete and the Petro-Dollars.”

Wikipedia: Petrodollar
A petrodollar is a United States dollar earned by a country through the sale of its petroleum to another country. The term was coined in 1973 by Georgetown University economics professor, Ibrahim Oweiss, who recognized the need for a term that could describe the dollar receiving by petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) in exchange for oil.

The term, petrodollar, should not be confused with petrocurrency which refers to the actual national currency of each petroleum exporting country.

In addition to the United States petrodollar, a petrodollar can also refer to the Canadian dollar in transactions that involve the sale of Canadian oil to other nations.

Definition of ‘Petrodollars’
The money that oil exporters receive from selling oil and then deposit into Western banks. Petrodollars are also known as petrocurrency. 
Investopedia explains ‘Petrodollars’
Petrodollars refers to the money that Middle Eastern countries and members of OPEC receive as revenue from Western nations and then put back into those same nations’ banks.

Wikipedia: Peter George Peterson
Peter G. Peterson (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician whose most prominent political position was as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972, to February 1, 1973 under Richard Nixon. He is most well known currently as founder and principal funder of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which he established in 2008 with a $1 billion endowment. The group focuses on raising public awareness about U.S. fiscal-sustainability issues related to federal deficits, entitlement programs, and tax policies.

Wikipedia: Ibrahim Oweiss
Dr. Ibrahim Oweiss (b. September 25, 1931) is an Egyptian-born American economist, international economic advisor, and professor of economics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, United States.
Dr. Oweiss has authored over fifty scholarly publications including Petrodollar Surpluses, Arab Civilization, The Political Economy of Contemporary Egypt, and in a pioneering work on oil revenues, he coined the term “petrodollars.”

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
pet·ro·dol·lar noun \ˈpe-trō-ˌdä-lər\
Definition of PETRODOLLAR
: a dollar’s worth of foreign exchange obtained by a petroleum-exporting country through sales abroad —usually used in plural
First Known Use of PETRODOLLAR

(Oxford English Dictionary)
petrodollar, n.
U.S. /ˈpɛtroʊˌdɑlər/
A notional monetary unit earned by a country from the export of petroleum. Also attrib. (in sing.): of, relating to, or designating the surplus of petroleum exports over imports of all other goods.
1973 Sunday Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) 5 Nov. a4/4 The next Arab-Israeli War‥. The weapons would not be ground-to-air missiles but the Arabs’ multi-billion dollar abundance of petrodollars.
1974 Times 13 May 26/4 The role of banks in the petrodollar recycling process points to enhanced earnings prospects for the large international banks.
1974 Financial Times 21 Nov. 23/3 The size of the ‘petrodollar’ surplus—defined as the current earnings of the OPEC countries over and above what they can spend on imports—has been estimated at about $60 bn. [sc. thousand million] this year.

Google News Archive
10 July 1973, Windsor (Ontario) Star, “International political woes all tied to energy” by Hobart Rowen (Washington Post), pg. 14, col. 2:
In the meantime, he thinks the U.S. should give more study to ways in which the excess funds — he calls them petro dollars —can be soaked up.
(Peter G. Peterson, former commerce secretary—ed.)

Time magazine
Business: Pete and the Petro-Dollars
Monday, Aug. 13, 1973
“My calves were too fat. I couldn’t click my heels.” That was Peter G. Peterson’s explanation of why, as Secretary of Commerce, he ran afoul of White House Strongmen H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Peterson was ungracefully let go last December, but the Administration’s loss became investment banking’s gain

Google News Archive
30 September 1973, Florence (AL) Times, “The United States For Sale” by Paul Harvey, pg. 4, col. 2:
Learn this word: “petrodollars.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Petro-money: problems & prospects
Author: Ibrahim M Oweiss
Publisher: [s.l., s.n.] 1974.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Petrodollar surpluses : trends and economic impact
Author: Ibrahim M Oweiss
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, [1983]
Series: CCAS reports. 
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Petrodollar is pumping US policy on Iran – backfire looms
Michael T. Winter
February 1, 2012
As tensions between the US and Iran heat up, author Michael T. Winter believes the main reason behind America’s harsh stance is Tehran’s move to seek an alternative to the dollar as an oil currency:

Economic sanctions, spearheaded by the US and, less willingly, the EU could have a disastrous effect on both of their respective economies.  If Iran cannot sell their oil to Europe, there are plenty of customers waiting in the wings, and if they come bearing not petrodollars, but gold and sovereign currencies, then all the better for Iran.  These sanctions, if enforced, will in effect place a serious dent in the power of the petrodollar.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 01, 2012 • Permalink