The international monetary system has collapsed three times in the past hundred years, in 1914, 1939, and 1971. Each collapse was followed by a period of tumult: War, civil unrest, or significant damage to the stability of the global economy. Now James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, shows why another collapse is rapidly approaching - and why this time, nothing less than the institution of money itself is at risk.
The American dollar has been the global reserve currency since the end of the Second World War. If the dollar fails, the entire international monetary system will fail with it. No other currency has the deep, liquid pools of assets needed to do the job.
Optimists have always said, in essence, that there’s nothing to worry about—that confidence in the dollar will never truly be shaken, no matter how high our national debt or how dysfunctional our government. But in the last few years, the risks have become too big to ignore. While Washington is gridlocked and unable to make progress on our long-term problems, our biggest economic competitors—China, Russia, and the oil producing nations of the Middle East—are doing everything possible to end U.S. monetary hegemony. The potential results: Financial warfare. Deflation. Hyperinflation. Market collapse. Chaos.
Rickards offers a bracing analysis of these and other threats to the dollar. The fundamental problem is that money and wealth have become more and more detached. Money is transitory and ephemeral, and it may soon be worthless if central bankers and politicians continue on their current path. But true wealth is permanent and tangible, and it has real value worldwide.
The author shows how everyday citizens who save and invest have become guinea pigs in the central bankers’ laboratory. The world’s major financial players—national governments, big banks, multilateral institutions—will always muddle through by patching together new rules of the game. The real victims of the next crisis will be small investors who assumed that what worked for decades will keep working.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to prepare for the coming death of money. Rickards explains the power of converting unreliable money into real wealth: gold, land, fine art, and other long-term stores of value. As he writes: “The coming collapse of the dollar and the international monetary system is entirely foreseeable… Only nations and individuals who make provision today will survive the maelstrom to come.”
©2014 James Rickards (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC
“A terrifically interesting and useful book . . . fascinating." (Kenneth W. Dam, Former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Adviser to three Presidents)
Yes. There is a lot of information about how money works and how it affects international trade and money policy. This information takes a lot of thinking to understand and digest for a lay person like myself so multiple reads will be necessary to really get a firm grasp on all that was included in the book.
From the beginning I knew this book would have a bit of the "dooms day" tone. Luckily this was somewhat mild and the author did a pretty good job of focusing on the facts of how money works.
The main thing I got from the book is a high level "how money works" in today's international economy. It did a pretty good job bringing up and explaining topics, setting a foundation of knowledge so I now know what other books to look for to expand that knowledge. Some information went over my head and will take additional reading to clarify but I came away feeling like I got more than my money's worth in learning.
The author's final conclusion on what to do about where money is headed was included at the end which was much appreciated. However, his suggestions will likely only be helpful to the very wealthy. For example, buy undeveloped land so when the economy drops (as in a recession) you can develop that land cheaply. That isn't going to help people who either barely make ends meat (the majority of people) or who are just doing well to keep a modest savings for retirement.
So if you are looking for a formula to protect yourself from bad turns in the economy or the government screwing things up with bad monetary policy, and if you aren't wealthy, look elsewhere. But if you want a deeper understanding of how money works so you can more intelligently decide how to plan your finances for the future, this is an interesting read.
This book could be 4 stars if the title and some rhetoric were toned down. It masks otherwise interesting points and investment strategies.
It also gets pretty dry at points. I found myself skipping to the end of a chapter at times.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
The book is about the decline of the dollar era, and what might come after it if the dollar fails as the reserve currency of choice. Rickard’s believes “The Fed’s insolvency is looming.” The author claims the reason for this is the US Federal Reserve has mismanaged the financial crisis and recovery. Rickard thinks they should have let the market correct itself without intervention. The author discusses inflation and deflation in detail as well as the role of banks, central banks and the IMF. I found his history of the global financial system interesting. He covered the financial history of a few countries in-depth, they are Japan, Germany, Russia, China, Brazil, Britain and the U.S. as well as the formation of the European Union. He also covers in detail gold and the gold standard; he lists the countries that have built up gold reserves and why they have done it. The author says the Euro will be the surviving currency and recommends the purchase of gold and land to survive the fall of the dollar. Richards failed to discuss oil, energy and the reckless and fraudulent behavior of the financial industry except in a brief comment. It is an interesting book, a bit gloomy but a good review of the global financial system. I will understand a bit more when listening to the financial news. Sean Pratt did an excellent job narrating the book.
Explains what I have feared but didn't understand our economic system well enough to fully digest the scope of it all. Great job. Loved the history taught. Great examples as well. Money backed by nothing is nothing. Fractional reserve lending needs to be buried along with the banks.
This is a very good read about a potential if not inevitable change in the US dollar. I have read When Money Dies by Adam Ferguson which was about hyperinflation of Wiemar Germany after WW1, also The Road to Serfdom by F.A Hayek, which tells a similar tale of deficits and bad Central Planning. Rickards book refers to deficit spending, and the likely loss of the US dollar as a reserve currency. If that happens then the US will have a major problem with the cost of imports. Everyone holding dollars will be wiped out eccentrically. A new US will see much lower prices of homes, and higher prices of goods, and a much, much lower standard of living. Richards suggests the world will have SDR's issued by the IMF(International Monetary Fund) as the reserve currency. Although, SDR's are also a fiat currency so they will have to be back by gold. Thus gold prices will rise dramatically. This deficit spending which has gone on and on for decades may come to a head shortly with a depression that will last years. Nobody really knows, but one should know this information to protect your family. Either way something is going to happen. The US can't continue to keep spending at a deficit. If you have debts, and have mostly cash in you bank then you have to read and know this information.
I am reading it again, this is a great well written book. James has the ability to take a lot of what I have pieced together over the last few years, organize it, put facts behind it and turn it into a picture that all can see. If you have wondered why this market turnaround has not really turned you around, then pick this up.
Another great book to read in conjunction with this is Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis, and A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold (Unabridged) by Peter L Bernstein. The Flash Boys book will explain some of the complexity that is going on that even most of the wall street bankers are just figuring out, and A Primer on Money, Banking and Gold will give you a historical context so that you understand that just because it has always(at least in your life time) been like this does not mean that it always will be like this.
he is hands down in my top 3, if not my top one favorite performers here on audible.
yes, unfortunately, sleeping, eating, and this nasty habit of going to work got in the way.
Really people, you need to read this, if you plan on living for more than just a few more years, you are probably going to witness one of the most interesting events in modern human history. I really think most people will be shock by it, but if you read this and some of the other books that I listed here, you will at least be aware it is coming, and possibly prepared, for the chaos that ensues after it happens.
I would change the narration. What is covered in this book is sometimes tough to understand and can get boring. The narrator's tone was just tedious and I found myself needing to review sections I had tuned out of.
What is memorable is the basic premise; that our government and the governments of the prominent world powers work together to deceive their people while enriching those well-connected insiders. The value of our dollar currency isn't worth the paper it's printed on let alone whatever denomination is printed on it. Horrifying.
Dream narrator: a talented man or woman capable of delivering dry content in an interesting and exciting (well, let's just say compelling) manner.
I am inspired to continue learning, hedging, shorting, buying assets, focusing on true money not currency, and having a bit more understanding about what is being broadcast by our internet and other media.
I would suggest reading other books on the subject so that you can come to your own conclusions about personal financial and living plans.
Remember the 5 "G's": Grub, Ground, Gold, Guns and God. Not necessarily in that order.
(This was not part of this particular book.)
I'm just a layman and concerned US citizen, witnessing the destruction of my grand kids' future. To me, Mr. Rickards' take on the situation makes far more sense than the path we're on.
Great book to read. very informative.
very detailed, and technical. so it is believable.
a ton of information on economic policies from around the world. I learned a great deal and this book has sparked an interest in researching various topics that are covered within its pages.
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