The Vietnamese government is about to launch what could be a futile war against the dollar. As of Oct. 1, Vietnamese businesses will be required to convert the majority of their foreign-exchange earnings into the local currency, the dong. It will be hard to make the order stick. The dollar is now demanded by the gamut of businesses ranging from government-sponsored enterprises to street peddlers. There is little confidence in the traditionally unstable dong. Also, at 10,900 dong per dollar, people have to lug around huge bundles of cash to complete transactions.

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