Russian Finance Minister: US dollar in 'good shape'

We've heard a lot of saber rattling recently about the need for an alternative to the dollar from Russia and China, but that talk was put to rest when Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the world that the dollar was in "good shape" and there's no need for a substitute for the world's reserve currency.

Some thought Russia was singing a different song when President Dmitry Medvedev questioned the dollar's global status and joined China's central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan in a call for another benchmark for settling international debts. But Brazil, China, Russia and India depend on the U.S. and its $2.5 trillion export market too much to make waves. Even though some leaders of these countries may question the dollar's status publicly, they continue to increase their reserves in dollars to limit the gains in their own currencies and support their exports. These four nations now have combined reserves in dollars totaling $2.8 trillion and are among the largest holders of U.S. treasuries.