The United States dollar is currently so weak that people are beginning to ask if it’ll ever claw its way back. While the role of the dollar is sorted out, exchange traded funds (ETFs) can help you play its present and its future.

Is the world finally losing its appetite for the U.S. dollar? Michael Schuman for Time asks the question. There are signs we should be concerned:

  • The price of gold has catapulted to new highs and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is selling 200 metric tons of gold to India’s central bank for $6.7 billion.
  • Around the world, U.S. dollars accounted for 37% of new reserves in central banks.

The worst recession since the 1930s may almost be behind us and the beaten-down financial sector seems to be mending. Can the dollar rise from the ashes like a phoenix? Some say perhaps not. In a decade, says one historian, the world won’t be so dollar-denominated. But whether that spells doom is another question altogether.

The U.S. dollar is not going to disappear. But if the talk becomes reality, the greenback could take a hit. Central bankers are the currency market’s buyer of last resort, and thus the private sector’s view of the dollar’s value and stability can be heavily influenced by what they do. (How to play currency baskets).

For more stories about currency, visit our currency ETF category.
  • PowerShares DB US Dollar Up (NYSEArca: UUP): down 7.5% year-to-date

  • PowerShares DB US Dollar Bearish (NYSEArca: UDN): up 8.2% year-to-date

  • PowerShares Group 10 Carry Trade (NYSEArca: DBV): up 20.3% year-to-date (How DBV works)

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.