Whatever it was, the fact is USD is the definition of value in today's world simply because everyone agree to use USD as the standard currency in international tradings. When you travel oversea to a less popular country, you are most likely not able to get the currency of that country from the exchange shop in your own country. Instead, you will have exchange to USD and then when you arrive at the destination country, you may exchange your USD to the currency of that country.
During this world recession, everyone is thinking to break away from this association with USD. However, most of the continentals have made their comments that they wouldn't be able to do it. The most disappointing one is from Europe, "It is not easy to use a new currency standard.", they said.
However, today I over heard a TV news saying that China is now starting to quote all international trades in RMB especially with near by regions like Taiwan and South East Asia.
I always have doubts on China's capability to take over USA's responsibility on world finance simply because no brains were shown from China ... well, history starts to change. The transition may happen earlier than I previously predicted after all.