Currency Wars by James Rickards
The Making of the Next Global Crisis (Portfolio)

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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.


About James Rickards

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JAMES RICKARDS is a seasoned counselor, investment banker, and risk manager. He advises the Department of Defense, the CIA, and the director of national intelligence on global finance. A frequent guest on CNN, Fox, C-SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and NPR, Rickards also lectures at Northwestern University and the School of Advanced International Studies.
Published November 10, 2011 by Portfolio. 321 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Dec 04 2011
Weeks as Bestseller

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He offers a view of how the continued depreciation and devaluation of the dollar will ultimately lead to a collapse, which he asserts will come about through a widespread abandonment of a worthless inflated instrument.

Oct 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...

Publishers Weekly

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In 2008, Rickards, an investment banker with extensive experience in hedge funds, was invited to participate in a seminar sponsored by the Department of Defense, which examined the safety of U.S. sovereign wealth funds in the case of economic warfare.

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...


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It starts with the prosperous “Golden Age” of the classical gold standard, proceeds through Currency War I (1921 – 1936), Currency War II (1967 – 1987) and Currency War III (2010 – ).

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...

Seeking Alpha

The book continues with an examination of three eras where currencies were at war: 1) prior to the Great Depression until we leave the internal gold standard, 2) the inflationary guns and butter late ’60s to mid ’80s, encompassing the period where the US goes off the gold standard entirely, and g...

Apr 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...

Seeking Alpha

The trade and budget imbalances, domestic and foreign policy challenges, and fiscal and monetary policy responses all seem to form a rhythmic melody which is layered over the fairly predictable and unsurprising beat of humans responding to incentives (greed) and focused on self-preservation ...

Feb 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...

Canadian Business

But as Northwestern University lecturer Rickards writes, it’s only one of several countries “caught in the cross fire of a currency war among the dollar, euro and yuan.” Advertisement The result of that war, Rickards believes, will be a future U.S. president—possibly ev...

Dec 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...


For the sake of time, I am going to profile the outcomes of the current currency war which James calls the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Currency Wars: The Making of ...

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