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on 19 August 2014
I really liked this book. It goes as close as anything I have seen to defining 'money' from first principles. Its recommendations at the end for what to do with your wealth (if you have any) -- gold, fine art, land, cash -- seem to me cogent and well thought out.

But I see one major error: so bad that it falls into the category of 'clanger' and causes a niggle of doubt about everything else in the book. Referring to sterling parity upon return of the UK to the Gold Standard in 1925, Mr Rickards says this: "Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill chose to return sterling to gold at the prewar rate equivalent to £4.86 per ounce. This is simply wrong. It gets worse. On the same page, the author says this: "An exchange rate equivalent to £7.50 per ounce would have been a more realistic peg".

The truth is that Churchill returned sterling to gold at a parity of £1 = US$4.86 (hence, superficially, the confusion with £4.86)

In 1914 (to which the 1925 Gold Standard Act mandated the return of the UK's monetary parity):
£1 = 113 grains of pure gold (one grain = .06479891 grams)
$1 = 23.22 grains of gold
Therefore £1 = $4.8664944

Also in 1914:
One 'standard ounce' (11/12 pure or 22 carat) gold = £3 17s 10 and 1/2 d = (decimalised) £3.89375
One troy ounce of pure gold therefore = £4.24772727
At the $4.8664944 parity, one troy ounce of pure gold therefore = $20.671541.

Confusion over. But this is research Mr Rickards should have done; in addition the fact that it is widely held that at $4.86, sterling was overvalued by about 10%. By this calculation £1 should have been set at about $4.40.

I still give Mr Rickards' book 4 stars. But the above is so central to any studentship of gold parities that I wonder.....
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Interesting book from a finance "insider" who has also worked with the CIA and Department of Defense in the USA on tracking manipulation of the financial markets.

In clear view, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and the politicians around the world with a fragile understanding of economics are doing a good job of accidentally screwing up the modern financial system that provides the basis for our current prosperity.

Markets are so badly manipulated that it's impossible to really understand where fair value currently lies for shares, bonds, property and gold. Are we heading for deflation and the debt chaos that will be created as the Ponzi financing comes tumbling down? Or will the central banks succeed in creating inflation? If so, it's extremely doubtful that they will be able to control it.

Out of view, an even more frightening situation is developing as potential warfare between nations (and terrorism) turns away from the bullet and the bomb towards wreaking financial havoc by deliberately destroying the finance system.

In the shadows, not in secret but not reported well by the Western media, are attempts to replace the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency.

After the rush to binge on debt over the last 20 or more years, everywhere you look, there is danger to the economic world as we know it. If 2008 was scary, the impending crisis will be even worse.

If you weren't paranoid about the financial situation before reading this book, you will be afterwards.

I can't see how things can carry on indefinitely. I was reading last week about an economist who believes that the only option is to keep borrowing more because society will collapse if we don't. Unfortunately that just creates an even bigger problem for some time in the future. What a choice. Terrible pain now or even worse in the future.

If the system is doomed, how can you protect yourself and your family? the author recommends real assets like gold, land and fine art and a stack of cash to take advantage of the buying opportunities that will appear.

He's preaching to the converted with me. I'm expecting big trouble but there is the issue of timing. While I wait, the markets keep going up. The politicians and public officials are doing a better job with the sticking plasters than I would have expected.

The book takes common themes that you've probably read about elsewhere. What may be new to you is that the author looks at them through the lens of complexity theory. Some things help to bring the system back under control but others force it out of control. It's not an in-depth analysis but at least it's a recognition of interconnectedness and feedback loops.

I've given the book a rating of four stars rather than five. Why?

It's very detailed. parts of the book feel like a fast paced thriller but parts seemed tedious. If I wasn't committed to understanding more about this hot topic, I could put the book to one side.

I don't agree with the author's positive views about the Eurozone region of the EU. I accept that there's big commitment from the political elite to keep it together but I'm not sure the electorate is keen to pay the price of continually rebalancing economies or to follow federation through to the creation of a European superstate that tramples on local issues.

Finally I thought it was skimpy on solutions to protect individual wealth and pensions under the different scenarios of collapse.

The book's increased my knowledge of what's going on but hasn't helped me to develop a strategy that gives me any comfort.
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VINE VOICEon 8 July 2014
I found this book to be very technical and consequently quite difficult to understand. This probably accounts for my confusion as Rickards seems to contradict himself on a number of points: gold is bad/gold is good; things are not that bad/things are worse than people realise. I also found it rather pretentious in the first few chapters as Rickards uses unnecessarily complex terms. Moreover, he makes a massive mistake: he claims that gold and silver are not manipulated. However, recent events have proved otherwise. Legal action has been brought against HSBC (and other banks) for silver manipulation and legal action is being brought (2014) against Barclays (and other banks) for Gold manipulation. He claims that having worked in exchange companies he never saw evidence of manipulation. This does not mean (obviously) that it didn't happen and it means that perhaps he was not in a high enough position to witness or be part of it. It could also mean that he is just being loyal.

It seems to me that this book is more just an analysis of the current situation and unlike other books, does not offer any solutions for the individual.

Nonetheless, there are certain interesting points that he makes. It is worth a read, but unless you are technically minded, be prepared for a bit of a slog.
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on 11 April 2014
‘The Death of Money’ written by James Rickards, although of somewhat apocalyptic name commonly referred to books that only manage to attract with their title, is actually an interesting book that approaches economic issues in a professional and informed manner, in same time being thought-provoking.

The author has succeeded in his book to develop its subject in less than four hundred pages, which is not so often, considering that the books which at the same time speak about economic theory and predictions of the future are usually very extensive, and often illegible except for a narrow academic circle.

I read Rickards previous book ‘Currency Wars’ and his economic forecasts, given that I share same profession with author, largely coincide with my own; consequently I really liked his book.

Exactly the same situation is with his latest book in which the author foreshadows an interesting (at least on paper) future of money and all that could start happening in the world economy in case of some scenarios already seen in the past would repeat.

And even after reading the book it seems that the end is near, the author gives recommendations on how to survive the uncertain times that lie ahead; he gives reasons why this is the right time to change money into objects whose value will certainly not decline in uncertain times that expect the world's currencies, things that have proven its value through the history, such as works of art, land or gold.

I would not go into the discussion chapter by chapter because my fellow reviewer has done it exceptionally-well and there is no need to repeat, but in any case I can recommend this book to all those who enjoy reading about the economics, and have more advanced knowledge or are at least willing to learn about it.

After reading the author’s two books, it can be certainly said that James Rickards is one of the authors that marked the economics scene in the last 5 years, so all the recommendations to this as well as his previous work.
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on 24 May 2015
A well researched and thoughtful review of where we are and where we are going, financially. He even lists a few things to watch out for and what they mean.

Basically, if you feel something fundamentally has changed but aren't sure what. This book is for you. If you think you know what changed, this book adds to your knowledge.

If you think all is well, you won't be reading this review. Reading the book will upsetting for you. Your ego will likely 'protect' you by dismissing the book as scare mongering nonsense. Thus protecting you from being upset.

Basically, much wealth is going to evaporate. Some wealth will be transferred and i hope to capture some of the flow. The book explains this all before it happens. Which has value but it doesn't say when, which would be incredibly valuable.

Buy the book, read the book, understand the book. Believe whatever you will and act accordingly. You are responsible for you, not me or your preferred political party.
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on 16 March 2015
Insight into the world of finance and how money works, most informative a must read, every adult should read this book but sadly very few will and suffer for the lack of information and the catastrophe that is coming to the western world.
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on 18 May 2016
I like that James Rickards has spelt out all the tell-tale signs of the disaster to come. It is not alarmist in any way, just explains what the future could hold.

We can choose to ignore the warning signs or we can do something about it.

If interest rates went up by 2% could you cope? What would happen if there's another crash and the banks do not get another bailout.

What does negative interest rates mean for your money.

Ignore this book at your peril...
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on 8 August 2014
Good book - but, like so many others in this space, fails to mention the over-arching influence that the Rothschilds have in the world. We will not right the wrongs in this world until a majority understands the evil of private central banking.
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on 11 June 2014
Very good follow up to "currency wars" and oh my the author optimistic out look in his first book has now gone. I recommend reading both books if you want to see the real picture of what is going on and not the fake media news pumped out to paint a rosy picture.
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on 3 January 2015
I am fascinated by economics and read as much on the subject as I can get my hands on. After watching James Rickards on YouTube it became obvious that he is not only highly qualified to speak on his subject but has a manner of communicating tricky information with no nonsense clarity.

In The Death of Money his writing matches his verbal skills and although the topic is not easy to chew, I found myself seeing the light on dozens of aspects which had previously seemed confusing.
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