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Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises | [James Rickards]

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 James Rickards (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[Rickards] presents a compelling case for his views and offers thought-provoking information for library patrons. This is a must-read book." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (712 )
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  •  
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 10-25-13
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 10-25-13

    Acteon

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolute must"
    Where does Currency Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    First place, because of how vitally important its contents are. If I were a billionaire, I would buy ten million copies (and translated into different languages) for free distribution....


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Currency Wars?

    The final chapters that evoke the catastrophe we are heading toward, together with the how and why.


    Any additional comments?

    This book more than any other I know gives the big picture as regards the world's economic situation. It provides deep insights into why things are as they are, and how they are likely to evolve. And an understanding of the fatal dangers that are lurking, already so close.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 06-07-13
    Justin 06-07-13
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    "Great book and performance, a wealth of knowledge!"
    If you could sum up Currency Wars in three words, what would they be?

    Knowledgeable and academic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/a


    Have you listened to any of Walter Dixon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Worried if I had to pick an emotion, but with additional knowledge I can be prepared


    Any additional comments?

    It definitely allowed me to understand monetary policy as it relates to the world economic situation especially over the last decade. A very interesting book to say the least! I was reluctant to read it at first because this is tot typically my favorite topic, but I'm glad I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Dallas 04-04-13
    Pete Dallas 04-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Concerning"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was an eye opening experience. When I heard about currency devaluation before reading this book I always thought about other countries being guilty of it not ours. Our country needs to get back to its roots and stop depending on academics to guide our financial system. If we are not thoughtful about controlling derivatives, leverage, printing of money and derogation of gold we may find the dollar obsolete. More people need to educate themselves so we can take a stand and demand real changes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Abbott Arlington, TX 02-11-13
    K. Abbott Arlington, TX 02-11-13 Member Since 2015

    Texas_Kev

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    "Informative, but hard to stick with."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't know if more pauses or a slower pace would help, but my guess is it might.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    No story here, just a lot of history, facts, and prediction.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes?


    Do you think Currency Wars needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Perhaps, if current events develop that make the topic worth revisiting, but otherwise, no.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to audio books while working out at the gym or on chores around the house. Some grab my attention and some just don't. I guess I gleaned enough from the narrative to get the gist of what this guy is saying and I'm not sorry I stuck it out, but there was a LOT that got past me because it failed to hold my interest in many rather long passages. I'd like to say I would listen again and try harder to pay attention because I would kind of like to better understand what the author has to say on the subject (he seems really knowledgeable), but I somehow just doubt I will. If you have an interest in this sort of thing, you'll probably find Boomerang Travels interesting, and it's so funny. I was just laughing out loud at the gym while listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 01-08-13
    Tim United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2011

    Putting books on the back burner.

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    "Dull Read, Like a Textbook"

    I have a habit of reading financial titles when I get bored. For some reason, this particular subject trigger something in my thick skull and keep me entertain in this genre. There are times where I need to take a break from fiction and read some economics. When I was in school, I had no interest in finance as a profession, but I was always amazed on how monetization rule the World. and how the system works and how it's broken.

    There is no doubt that "Currency Wars" is a dull read, but it is so like being in class again, learning how different currency works. After reading this book, I want to take a midterm of showing what I've learned and seeing how much I retain the information.

    This book is not for everyone. You really need to like economics to read and understand what James Rickards is talking about. Even now, I wanted to look back on my past notes that I had from school to review the technical terms, but after a while, it came back to me from Rickards' explanations.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Liu Oslo, Norway 12-04-12
    L. Liu Oslo, Norway 12-04-12

    Walk

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    "Great telling of currency history, weak ending"
    Would you listen to Currency Wars again? Why?

    yes, much to reflect on


    What did you like best about this story?

    History


    Any additional comments?

    insightful perspective and well presented history; but gold standard as the solution was weak and not inspirational

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan United States 12-01-12
    Ryan United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Life is a journey, enjoy it......because one day it will all end.

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    "Read this soon, just make sure you have coffee."
    What did you love best about Currency Wars?

    The insight into what a currency war is and how it effects an economy


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The intro was most interesting, the least was the middle of the story.


    Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favorite?

    N/A


    If you could give Currency Wars a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Money education that everyone should have if you invest.


    Any additional comments?

    The overall book is good. I just rated it a little low because there are about 3 to 4 chapters that are a little boring, hence the coffee remark in the title. There is a lot of knowledge in this book and I plan on re-listening to it. We are starting a world currency war now and you need this knowledge to plan accordingly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Kalgoorlie, Australia 11-26-12
    Benjamin Kalgoorlie, Australia 11-26-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Currency Wars to be better than the print version?

    don't know.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Currency Wars?

    Great overall content, kept me interested all the way through and wanted more when it was over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 10-29-12
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2013

    I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Class is in session for Keynesian Economics"
    Where does Currency Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well written, well read, but if you're looking for a well rounded perspective of economic theory, this is not the book for you. Rickards was the secretary of treasury during the Clinton administration, so what you get is a 'government can fix it' perspective of economics.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Coming from a relatively libertarian, Austrian economics perspective this was not an easy listen for me, but never the less, I appreciated the perspective of someone who obviously feels passionately about his perspective. What is lacking is the mere mention of any other theory (i.e. Austrian economics) in his 'education' of the audience.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    These guys really have drunk the coolaid and believe their own stuff. All interesting in theory, but only time will tell just how long this house of cards can stay standing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margie COTTAGE GROVE, WI, United States 10-14-12
    Margie COTTAGE GROVE, WI, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Expected better"
    What would have made Currency Wars better?

    When I got this book, I was hoping for a book to provide some additional insight into economic issues. Instead what I got was a rant. How the author has all the answers and how everybody in the government is either stupid or stealing. Then, the best solution to all our woes is to go on the gold standard.

    Yes, I have concerns for the US Dollar. However it is not because of not being on the gold standard, but because we have run a significant trade deficit since the late 1980s. When we try to negotiate with countries such as China to allow for better trade conditions, it is because they peg their currency and use the excess trade funds to strengthen the dollar by purchasing it. The trade wars have been going on for years, with trade deficits running as high as 6% of GDP. As this accumulates over time this does pose a significant risk to our country. The value of a currency should be driven by a balanced trade. However Rickards does not tell this story. Instead he focuses on how stupid everybody is and that we must move to the gold standard.

    Economics is a function of trust. Without it economics can not function. Wars occur when someone is willing to destroy that trust in some way. Any standard that we adopt ... be it gold or free floating exchange can be significantly damaged when one party of power says we will destroy that trust.

    In the end the important thing is that we work together to solve the issues within our country and with the rest of the world. Trust is established when countries can work together to establish the common good for all.

    Once again this book fails this task. In some ways this is a war book on ideology. Trying to win over new converts to the gold standard. It is not a book that does a good job using either logic or empirical insights to drive this argument. So much of it is flawed.

    However, I did manage to listen to the whole book. The best parts where some of the historical pieces where the author did a good job. Each time I listened to these sections, I was hopeful, but then it really deteriorated in the second half.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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