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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.
Would you consider the audio edition of Currency Wars to be better than the print version?
Same reason I listen to most books. I can get educated driving to work or doing yard work.
What did you like best about this story?
In an age of uncertainty, especially for investors, Mr. Rickards gives it to you straight, you can't miss a word he says. No fluff, just amazingly good information. If you want an education in currency this is it.
Which scene was your favorite?
He explains currency events regarding the depression.
What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?
Too many to name. The fact that he goes into the history of world wide currency's really pulls it all together for the reader/listener. It was like a road map of the past, present & future economic events layed out in front of me.
Any additional comments?
This book is on my top 3 favorite, I'm over 50 & read/listen to several a week. That say a lot.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
I'm no economist, but I found this book extremely insightful and level headed. It is very well researched and arguments are clearly articulated with plenty of examples that demystify concepts that have been deliberately obscured by governments and the banking industry. It's one of those books that, if you don't already know too much about the subject, can radically alter the way you understand the global economy.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Currency Wars again? Why?
The Dollar effects every American's quality of life yet few of us understand how. This book increased my understanding yet I had to be patient with some of the segments due to information overload. I gained more understanding about the Federal Reserve and political polices. Most importantly new understanding on how the Dollar along with other currencies have been intentionally manipulated through out history and why it causes more problems than it solves. This book is for learning.. no so much for pleasure. But I agree is a highly important subject and if more American's would take the time to read/listen to books like it we could get back on the right track.
What other book might you compare Currency Wars to and why?
Rich Dad's Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver by Mike Moloney. Why??? For the history of money, currency and fallen Empires. Wealth cycles and the transfer of wealth.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Where does Currency Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Not a word of the audiobook lacked in relevance : historical, analytical and prospective avenues are all explored in a conspicuous and documented way.It's a great book where non specialists will derive a thorough education and specialists could be forced into insightful paradigm shifts.The performance was sober but not monotonous, which is very fitting for a work of such depth.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This is an amazing book. It begins like a spy novel and then takes you through the history of the demise of the gold standard and the rise of central banking. Rickards then explains why the complexity of the current world makes Bernanke's social experiment in trying to reflate the economy by printing money extremely dangerous. This book will make you think. It will make you scared. It will make you understand why we are on an unsustainable path and must break up the financial world into smaller and more understandable pieces with currency backed by a real asset.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Don't read this book if you can't handle the truth.
Sounds sobering, doesn't it?
Well, I mean it. This is an excellent study of our nation's coming crisis, backed by facts and solid analysis. It will illuminate you. It will scare you. Why, because it's not fiction. This is quietly and slowly happening around us.
Writers try to capture this kind of disaster in novels. It makes good money in the literary biz. "I'll write a novel about America's financial collapse!" And they write. And they fall short. Even if it sells.
Unfortunately, they have very little understanding of what has HAPPENED to get the U.S. to where it financially is today. Consider this: We're printing and flushing $85 billion worthless US dollars a month into its already crippled economy, facing a "Race to the Bottom" currency war with other major nations. At the same time, nations and central banks are doing everything they can to hold back the price of gold, while quietly getting as much of it as they can in their coffers before currencies fail.
This is engaging and well-written. How? You couldn't get a better unbiased expert.
As a commodities broker who has dealt daily with these issues for over a decade, I can tell you that this book is not only factual, its extremely ACCURATE. Rickards, a lawyer with over thirty-five years of financial experience on Wall Street, has often counseled and worked for the Feds. He was hired by the U.S. to put together a system to provide advanced economic warnings and operations to avert economic terrorism against the U.S. (and did this successfully before and during 9/11). He's testified on the Hill numerous times. Look him up. His credentials are incredible.
In 2005, that system successfully warned of a pending disaster on the horizon. He presented the evidence to the Feds, and they rejected it. Why? Because he cited THEM as the problem.
Well, we all know what happened in 2008.
That same system now warns of a MUCH greater economic nightmare. And the culprits?
Once again, we're doing it to ourselves.
Want to know more? Maybe not. You've got to want to pull your head out of the sand on this one. You want an excellent read that pulls no punches, keeps you on the edge of your seat with hard facts and a good story that most fiction writers would kill for?
This is very much like the Matrix, and you have to choose the blue pill or the red pill. Take the red pill, and you go back to sleep, and forget about all this. Take the blue pill, and you get the real story behind the facade, the reality of our fragile economy.
Take the blue pill.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Rickards opens a view of the macro economic world wider than the typical economist who has never done. The book shows the true big picture that play into macro economics. How politics and world powers manipulate they monetary policy in the hopes of gaining power in all its various forms.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Currency Wars?
The currency war game.
Any additional comments?
He was the first to predict operation twist months before the Fed announced it. He also correctly predicted the Euro strength vs USD when everyone in 2011 was predicting its demise.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
You might think from the title that this author get's competitive devaluations and the race to the bottom, the role of gold, Austrian economics and economic freedom, but don't be misled, he doesn't. His solution is a bigger power structure, because the smaller national power structures got corrupted. Of course this would never happen if you stack an even bigger power structure on top of that (who would try to influence them?). So basically he is a new world order shill, angling for a job in the new 1984 world power structure.
Less power is the answer, not more. Less people who decide for more people is not the answer. Everyone their own ruler, no slave/master relation ships.
45 of 59 people found this review helpful
I read this book because of a recommendation on Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Radio show. It offers a unique perspective on the role of currency manipulation throughout history and a possible catastrophic outcome of current manipulation by central banks. This book is designed to instill fear in the reader and in so doing, is a captivating read. I wish, however, that it offered more insight on what an individual investor could do to hedge against the collapse of the dollar as predicted by the author. Instead it is focused more on the actions of central banks and governments.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
There were many compelling aspects to the book. I most enjoyed the chapters where Mr. Rickards discusses the prior currency wars in detail and provides time frames for the beginning and end of them. The interaction of various countries after some currency or exchange rate alteration is very interesting and helps explain global reactions during those periods. The impact exchange rates and interest rates have on the world is truly incredible. There is also a very compelling assessment of the current currency war that is now unfolding. This is a must read for anyone interested in international currency interactions, monetary policy and history, and current events in finance.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
The narration style was perhaps more suited to a spy thriller - but once I had adjusted to that a very enjoyable listen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Excellent teaching skills, easy to understand language explaining complicated issues.
Great voice of the lector.
This has been such an eye opening audio book, it's changed the way I think and will be a guide to the future of finance for me. Don't listen to it unless you are prepared to be shocked.
Love it and it a must read for what's to come in the next crash
Very interesting and informative. I suppose the 1 thing lacking is a strong argument against a gold standard, though he does address Bernankes opposition he takes it apart.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would recommend this book to people who and interested in how currency is used in war or as a mechanism for economic control.
Would you ever listen to anything by James Rickards again?
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
it was okay
Could you see Currency Wars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
Any additional comments?
This book was detailed and extremely helpful in understanding how powerful currency devaluation is when trying to stimulate growth and some of the issues that we face in modern times.
really well researced and easy to understand for the lay person who likes economic theory
Incredible detailed descriptions with impeccable historical accuracy.
A great way to understand history through a financial point of view