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Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis
 
 

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis [Kindle Edition]

James Rickards
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon.

Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.

Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.

As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.

Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.

While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.



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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fine book 9 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover
James Rickards is one of the most intelligent analysts in the world today, he is never prone to hyperbole or rhetoric, which is a common trait (trend even) of some economic essayists blogging and publishing today.
Clearly James Rickards is well thought of enough to be included in US govt Economic War games, and his story of being involved in just such an event makes fascinating reading.
The central section of the book detailing the three currency wars, (1921-36,1967-87,2010-),
is the most detailed and interesting, it really adds to the cannon of currency study. And as such, would in my eyes, sit alongside Murray N Rothbard's, "What has Government done to our money" and Ferdinand Lips "Gold Wars".
What of-course makes the work more than just an historical reflection, is it's ability to incorporate the economic disasters of central banks and their masters since 2008. In an economic landscape that Ludwig Von Mises could never have imagined in his worst nightmare, James Rickards brings us up to date, with some helpful ideas that we can only hope the politicians and their economic lackeys implement sooner rather than too late.
A stirring book that doesn't avoid the complexity of currency manipulation, but rather, draws the reader into a ripping morbid adventure. And that makes it quite special.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Turk about Currency Wars 20 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
October 27, 2011 ' It was my good fortune to receive an advance copy of Jim Rickards' new book, Currency Wars. It is a great book, and I highly recommend it.

The book is split into three parts, with the first part being almost surreal because it reads more like a novel than non-fiction. It details Rickards participation in an exercise at the Warfare Analysis Laboratory near Washington D.C. This group is one of the Defense Department's leading venues for war games and strategic planning, but in a first-ever event, the game in which Rickards joined was not a war-fighting simulation. Rather, several dozen people from the military, academic and intelligence communities fought a global financial war using currencies and capital markets to support national interests. Rickards and two colleagues were invited to give the simulation some real-world, Wall Street expertise about markets, which they certainly did.

I guarantee that when you start reading this part, you won't put the book down until you learn the outcome of the war. It reads better than a suspense novel, even though the ending is somewhat anti-climactic and predictable. While I won't spoil it for you by divulging the ending, I will note that gold has a big role to play. In fact, gold reappears throughout the whole book.

In the second section, Rickards analyzes the first two currency wars (CWI and CWII). He provides an interesting historical account of the global monetary twists and turns, ups and downs that marked much of the twentieth century, with keen insight into the motivations why these currency wars were fought. CWI lasted from 1921 to 1936.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for everyone 10 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A truly extraordinary book that opens the door of truth on the money systems of the past 150 years - and how they've succeeded and failed.

Forget right- or left-wing bias, what this book does is take you into the world of money and economics, the truly gobsmacking mistakes made by so-called intelligent leaders and how the current situation of unsustainable debt (the West) and huge sovereign wealth funds (the East) will play out. The author reveals in clear and highly readable language what caused the tragedy of the Great Depression, the growth times of the 1950s and 1960s, followed by increasing levels of debt as one government after another made monumental errors. LBJ and Nixon do not look good, de Gaulle looks seriously smart, Churchill's greatest error was as Chancellor in the early 1920s, and so on.

Above all, Rickards lays out in the clearest possible terms where the world is headed if nothing is done to arrest and correct the situation. He explains why gold has to be at the core of that - his challenge, the fact that economists the world over are dedicated Keynesians with policies to perpetuate the tradegy. Read it if you dare - I couldn't put it down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Currency Wars by Jim Rickards 19 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an essential read for anyone with an interest in understanding and being better prepared to deal with the current global financial crisis. Written by an author who clearly has immense knowledge and experience in his field, you are taken through a modern history of monetary and policy interventions and their outcomes and also an interdiciplinary and systemic discourse of possible future scenarios. I consider myself to be reasonably literate in Finance and Economics, but reading this book has really helped to synthesise some key concepts and flesh out the big picture of what is going on in the world today. To quote a rather famous old movie, 'like being shot between the eyes with a Diamond bullet'.

In terms of Vendor service & delivery, the book arrived much sooner than promised and it was hardcover when I thought I was getting paperback. Cool.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Read it and then read his follow up book "The death of money." We are heading with out question in to a dark tunnel.
Published 29 days ago by WW2 History Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing
This book has change the way I think about wars and how the activities of governments effect our everyday lives.
Published 2 months ago by Albert Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and pragmatic
The book analyses from a strategic prospective the variables associated with currency warfare. It does so with a clear reference to historical events that support the conclusions... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Raad Chalabi
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
I like the balanced view that is portrayed in this book, civilizations should not collapse , it took us a long time to reach this time in history. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Harprit Bains
1.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, but sensationalist
It's a gung-ho start, you get the feeling the book has been written as a film. It improves as you get further into the book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr Bob
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary stuff
Well written, very informative and easy to read. There could have been more on the banking system in the UK
Published 7 months ago by Annh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
A very informative and well researched book presenting the history of the financial system, how we have ended up where we are and the possible routes it might take due to QE.
Published 7 months ago by TheCritic
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Looked forward to reading this book and thoroughly enjoyed it, however I feel the ending was a little rushed and find it odd that there was no real exploration of the political... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars A properly thought through and lucidly presented argument
Rickards has thought his position through in a fairly rigorous, logical way; he pays analytical attention to historical precedents, reviews the economic theories that are thought... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richard Kossow
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an interesting and illuminating perspective on the situation and history behind the currency wars of the past few decades. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andy Curzon
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
Currency wars begin in an atmosphere of insufficient internal growth. The country that starts down this road typically finds itself with high unemployment, low or declining growth, a weak banking sector and deteriorating public finances. In these circumstances it is difficult to generate growth through purely internal means and the promotion of exports through a devalued currency becomes the growth engine of last resort. &quote;
Highlighted by 308 Kindle users
&quote;
Devaluation and currency wars never produce either the growth or the jobs that are promised, but they reliably produce inflation. &quote;
Highlighted by 285 Kindle users
&quote;
America has, in fact, run trade deficits large enough to wipe out its gold hoard under the old rules of the game. Still, the idea of the gold standard was not to deplete nations of gold, but rather to force them to get their financial house in order long before the gold disappeared. In the absence of a gold standard and the real-time adjustments it causes, the American people seem unaware of how badly U.S. finances have actually deteriorated. &quote;
Highlighted by 239 Kindle users

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