Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises

Written by:
James Richards
Narrated by:
Walter Dixon

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2011
9 hours 55 minutes
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.
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Not only a historical walk through the ups-n-downs of the monetary system of the United States and globally, but an in-the-moment 2011 near-future extrapolation in relation to the US and internationally. The author is not trying to cry doomsday as much as to encourage the listener to understand historical patterns, and to take stock of where one is at, and personal wealth management planning should a global crisis occur (which affects one on the home front as well). The author does an admirable job not only scaling down macro global economics to something managable for the average-man to digest, but also caring to encourage the reader to see where one fits in on the micro level. That being said, while this book is technically an easy listen (no lists/quizes, so one can multi-task while listening), it is VERY heady with a lot of global/economic terms while tying hundreds of years of economic/global history together into a single thread--which means better absorbed by listener if no distractions, and that chore had better be all labor if the listener is planning on comprehending. Eat your Wheaties. This is a hearty history lesson to chew on. [2020 review note: 1. This 2011 book is the first in a series that Rickards puts out every few years or so using historical data to backup his analysis of the current US/Global economic situation as it pertains to the everyday citizen. July 2019 Aftermath is his current book. And his next book, The New Great Depression, is due out January 2021. 2. The audiobooks read by author Rickards himself are a tad harder to listen/comprehend--not as audibly clear or slow as a professional reader.]

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