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Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis Hardcover – November 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (November 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844495
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the most urgent books of the fall.”
—Mike Allen, Politico
 
“Let’s hope he’s wrong.”
Financial Times
 
“Rickards . . . has written one of the scariest books I’ve read this year. Though I was tempted at first to dismiss him as alarmist, his intelligent reasoning soon convinced me that we have more to fear than fear itself. Part history, part primer and analysis, the text covers topics ranging from the “misuse of economics” to complexity theory. The pieces, although disparate, fit together snugly, as in one of those mystery jigsaw puzzles that come with clues in lieu of cover art. The picture that emerges is dark yet comprehensive and satisfying.”
—Bloomberg Businessweek
 
“Unsettling . . . fascinating . . . a thorough analysis of how nations have manipulated their currencies . . . with disastrous consequences.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
“Buy Currency Wars if you want to learn the history and language of the global currency markets and the political economy which they support.”
—Chris Whalen, Ritholtz.com
 
“Jim Rickards highlights dangerous dynamics between national security and the international financial markets. What we assumed was firm ground under our feet is more like the narrowing point of a precipice. Our politicians, national security experts, and financial markets, each chasing carrots dangling in front of them, fail to see that they are leading America right off the edge.”
—Charles A. Duelfer, former special adviser to the director of the CIA; author of Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq
 
“Put on your flak vest and helmet and enter the dangerous battlefield of global finance. Jim Rickards takes you through a captivating roller-coaster ride—the past, the present, and a look at the problematical future of our ongoing currency wars.”
—Rear Admiral (Ret.) Stephen H. Baker, chief of staff, Fifth Fleet; recipient, Distinguished Service Medal

About the Author

James Rickards is a counselor, investment banker, and risk manager with over thirty years' experience in capital markets. He advises the Department of Defense, the U.S. intelligence community, and major hedge funds on global finance, and served as a facilitator of the first ever financial war games conducted by the Pentagon. A frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Fox, C-SPAN, Bloomberg TV, and NPR, Rickards also lectures at Northwestern University and at the School of Advanced International Studies.

Visit currencywarsbook.com

More About the Author

James Rickards is the author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, published by Penguin/Portfolio, November 2011.

He is Senior Managing Director at Tangent Capital Partners LLC, a merchant bank based in New York City, and is Senior Managing Director for Market Intelligence at Omnis, Inc., a technical, professional and scientific consulting firm located in McLean, VA. Mr. Rickards is a seasoned counselor, investment banker and risk manager with over thirty years experience in capital markets including all aspects of portfolio management, risk management, product structure, financing, regulation and operations. Mr. Rickards' market experience is focused in alternative investing and derivatives in global markets. He has also served as General Counsel at several alternative asset management companies and a stock exchange facility and is expert in fund governance and international fund structures.

Mr. Rickards' career spans the period since 1976 during which he was a first hand participant in the formation and growth of globalized capital markets and complex derivative trading strategies. He has held senior executive positions at sell side firms (Citibank and RBS Greenwich Capital Markets) and buy side firms (Long-Term Capital Management and Caxton Associates) as well as technology firms (OptiMark Technologies and Omnis). Mr. Rickards has been a direct participant in many of the most significant financial events in recent decades including the release of US hostages in Iran in 1981 and the LTCM hedge fund collapse of 1998 in which Mr. Rickards was the principal negotiator of the government-sponsored rescue. He was involved in the formation and successful launch of several hedge funds and fund-of-funds. His advisory clients include private investment funds, investment banks, litigation counsel, high-net worth individuals and government directorates. Since 2001, Mr. Rickards has applied his financial expertise to a variety of tasks for the benefit of the U.S. national security community and the Department of Defense. Mr. Rickards is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey and various Federal Courts and has held all major financial industry licenses.

Mr. Rickards has been a frequent speaker at conferences sponsored by bar associations and industry groups in the fields of derivatives, the international monetary system and hedge funds and is active in the International Bar Association. He has been the interviewed in The Wall Street Journal and on CNBC, Fox, CNN, NPR and C-SPAN and is an OpEd contributor to the Financial Times, New York Times and the Washington Post.

Mr. Rickards is a graduate school visiting lecturer in finance at Northwestern University, the School of Advanced International Studies and Singularity University. He has delivered papers on econophysics at the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the NASA Ames Research Center. Mr. Rickards has written articles published in academic and professional journals in the fields of strategic studies, cognitive diversity, network science and risk management. He is an advisor to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) Support Group of the Director of National Intelligence.

Mr. Rickards holds the following degrees: LL.M. (Taxation) from the New York University School of Law, New York City; J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia; M.A. in international economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC; and a B.A. degree with honors from the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Mr. Rickards is married, the father of three and lives in Darien, Connecticut. He is an avid sailor with extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and New England. He is also an experienced mountaineer following expeditions in the Alps, Andes, Cascades, Canadian Rockies and the Alaska Range.

Customer Reviews

The book is well written, easy to understand and very informative.
Roger
By framing history as a series of "Currency Wars", Rickards allows the reader to identify commonalities among various historical periods.
James J Abodeely
This book is a must read to make sense of what is happening and where the actions of the world powers might lead.
GBSmith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

317 of 331 people found the following review helpful By Erez Davidi on November 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jim Rickards, who is famous, among other things, for his ability to accurately predict the Fed's moves ahead of time. His most recent accurate call was the implementation of Operation Twist, i.e the selling of short-term government debt and the buying of long-term government debt in order to increase short-term interest rates and decrease long-term interest rates.

The main theme of the book is that the world is already heading toward a full-blown currency war which will bring even harsher economic turmoil to the world economy than the one we experienced in the last three years since the housing bubble burst in the U.S.

Rickards explores in depth, basing his arguments on past currency wars such as the one after WW1 between several European countries and the U.S., and why currency wars are a lose-lose situation. In short, Rickards's main argument is that countries around the world are devaluing their currencies in order to boost their exports (domestically produced goods and services will be cheaper for foreigners) thereby increasing their GDP. However, such actions will frequently be met by mutual currency devaluation by other countries or by some protectionist policy such as tariffs. Therefore, countries will gain a temporary advantage until other countries retaliate, the end result of which will be: inflation brought on from currency devaluation, protectionism and the halt of free trade, thus - wealth destruction. And in a worst case scenario, an outright military conflict.

As was mentioned above, I found Rickards's thesis to be well argued and backed with plenty of historical facts. To sum up, this book just has it all, great and engaging writing, fascinating economic history, and shrewd analysis of the current and coming global crisis.
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167 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Farley on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
No one is safe from Rickards' insightful analysis in this original and fast-paced history of world economic and monetary policy and the currency wars that have led to destructive outcomes more than once in the last hundred years. Despite the fact that repeated manipulation of currency by various countries throughout recent history in an attempt to dominate trade and spur domestic economic growth has failed miserably, the U.S. now faces a new currency war that might be, as Rickards says, "the currency war to end all currency wars." His disdain for the use of Quantitative Easing and the creation of a new world central bank is palpable and the urgency with which he makes his argument is cogent and frankly, terrifying. Rickards tells a fascinating story, taking the reader from the use of gold as an international currency in the Sixth century BC up to the current day, seamlessly connecting historical events in a manner that will appeal to experts and novices alike. His reductionist descriptions and gallows humor spares no one, and his analogies are both informative and beautifully written. Currency Wars is a must read for everyone, from classically-trained economists to small-time investors. But beware: after you read this book, instead of stuffing your mattress with cash, you may be inclined to do so with gold bullion.
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215 of 238 people found the following review helpful By Terri Walters on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you have the stomach for doing a deep dive into the causes and cures of the worldwide financial morass we're in, here it is! "Currency Wars" takes you on a journey unlike any other. From a firsthand account of the wranglings at a mock "financial war game" in the bowels of the Pentagon, through a rich and literate history of previous currency wars with their devastating outcomes, Rickards is in full command of his topic. The author then brings us right up to present moment where he offers possible endgame scenarios to this latest currency war: paper, gold, or chaos! With outcome uncertain and stakes sky high, the tension is palpable! The final chapter is simply mind blowing! But that's not all. "Currency Wars" isn't simply an economics or history book. Rickards gives us a lot more. Chapter 9 is the most stinging indictment yet of the policy and intellectual failures of the Fed, Keynesianism and Monetarism. When you finish Chapter 9 your faith in economic conventional wisdom will be thoroughly shattered. The author also offers up some of the most original theory and analysis in economics since John Maynard Keynes himself in the 1920's. It's conceptually challenging but well worth the effort.

Unlike the financial meltdown of '08, this time you can say you've been warned. Extremely timely, and yet ahead of its time, "Currency Wars" is a revelation. The Media and politicians are so far behind the curve on this story that once they start giving it some weight it will already be too late to save yourself financially. You must read this book now!
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Van Ost on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A currency war is a desperate and dark road your government takes you down when they become incapable of spurring domestic growth by any other means. But "stealing" growth from other countries by printing tons of money and cheapening one's own currency comes with an enormous price tag. In the new and complex arena of "geo-politics meets financial warfare," James Rickards is an intellectual tour de force. "Currency Wars" takes us on a whirlwind global tour from Peking to Moscow to Dubai, where governments and even everyday citizens are already hedging themselves against a declining U.S. Dollar. Sadly, most Americans are completely unaware of the dangers surrounding them and are still just hoping for the best. "Currency Wars" gives us a full understanding of the forces and players involved in taking us into this financial firestorm that's about to flashover. Once armed with this book, everyday Americans will also have a fighting chance. Thank you James!
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