In this worthwhile book Eswar Prasad presents the view that the post WWII world reserve currency,the US dollar, now has a more multifaceted role. Despite record US budget and trade deficits it still maintains its reserve status and he highlights the organizations that would like to keep it this way.
He makes it fairly clear for example that the Chinese government has for years been operating a Mercantilist policy (recycling dollar trade surpluses into dollar bonds) to lower the renminbi/dollar exchange rate and support/protect their extensive export industries.
For their part the US government welcomes the perpetual Asian funding of their deficits allowing them to… Read more
Khlevniuk is content to select from the voluminous records in an even handed way and let the documents speak for themselves. This has to be an advantage with his archival work being recognized in other books covering the same subject (eg. Robert Service's "Stalin: A Biography" and Donald Rayfield's… Read more
The Crack is a book for readers interested in the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, (or more specifically Belfast) so I should image that plenty of English and Southern Irish readers will go to some lengths to avoid it. Northern Ireland counts as one of the top "boring" problems because it's complicated, insoluble, seemingly senseless and it's been running for hundreds of years. As Sally Belfrage points out, the Protestants had settled in a Catholic Northern Ireland before the Mayflower sailed for America.
However, the Troubles have some unusual aspects and she gives some statistics towards the end of the book to support this: - A poll conducted by the Belfast Telegraph… Read more