Oil: The new global reserve currency

With growing concerns about the dollar's weakness, driven especially by the ballooning U.S. national debt, there has been some talk lately about a new global reserve currency.

For a variety of reasons, the idea hasn't gained much traction in institutional circles. But that hasn't stopped traders and investors from creating their own, temporary global reserve currency of sorts: oil.

With equity markets failing to offer growth sectors capable of inspiring sustained investor confidence, and with continual chatter that high U.S. government spending to stabilize the financial system and provide fiscal stimulus will fan inflation, at least a portion of institutional investors are rotating out of the dollar and other investments and into oil.