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Money, Markets, and Sovereignty (Council on Foreign Relations Books) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Council on Foreign Relations Books
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300149247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300149241
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[I]mpossibly good.”—Brian Domitrovich, Forbes
(Brian Domitrovich Forbes)

About the Author

Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics, Council on Foreign Relations, and founding editor of the journal International Finance. Manuel Hinds is a business and government consultant and former fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. He has twice served as minister of finance in El Salvador.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MT57 on December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was dazzling in its concise review of economic history and its defense of classic liberal economic principles such as free trade and the gold exchange standard. The final chapter however fizzled when they simply note that it is not politically possible for the US to return to a gold standard and thus, they simply hope the Fed will do a better job. It reminded me of a lot of articles I have read in magazines like Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy over the years. They are always very smart about what has already happened but the future prescriptions are so often bland and vague.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ray on March 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful discussion of money, trade and finance, how they originated as a natural result of people's innate desire to trade and interact, and how they have been hijacked by the sovereign state. There is also a devastating critique of anti-globalism; defeating globalism demands the state take even more control of people's lives, so as to restrict or eliminate interactions with anyone outside of the country. The book illustrates its points about money with examples from the role of sterling in the 19th century to the current hegemony of the US dollar (for how long?), supplemented by useful graphs.
Our national, economic and business leaders should all read this book because current trends with the dollar cannot be sustained. The only thing saving the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency today is the lack of an alternative. However statist politicians and economists have an amazing ability to not let reality interfere with their theories. If medical research was run on the same 'scientific' principles as economics, eye of newt and salamander tail would still be major drugs, bleeding would be the major surgical procedure, and medical students would be studying the four humors, much as all economics PhD candidates and MBA's today learn about perfectly efficient markets and completely rational investors (which means, as noted by Jeremy Grantham at GMO, the Federal Reserve and most economists could not see the housing bubble as bubbles are by definition impossible).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Tell on March 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a thought-provoking review of monetary policy and history. What is money and what gives it value? How are currencies managed and abused? How does the world financial system work? The authors exhibit an impressive grasp of economics and policy and provide worthwhile insights on the way the world works.

The book is mostly descriptive rather than prescriptive, hence the 4 stars (rather than 5). But know that going in and you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Globalization remains always controversial, especially during a severe recession. Its philosophical, political and economic history is a complex tangle, but globalism's current expression is even more complicated, weaving in everything from gold to monetary policy to nationalism. Council on Foreign Relations experts Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds have written a high-level, dense, but ultimately rewarding book for dedicated students of globalization. They contend that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank faces a tough challenge managing the U.S. dollar as both a national and a global reserve currency. This book outweighs other popular texts on globalism in its scholarship, topic range and intellectual arguments. The authors make such a formidable case that critics will have to ratchet up their rebuttals dramatically. getAbstract highly recommends this work to policy makers and executives involved in globalization, but note: The book presumes more than a passing acquaintance with economic theory.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pessoa on March 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Money, Markets, and Sovereignty" is an instant classic in political economy. In addition to being the most insightful book on globalization I've ever read, MMS is an amazing tutorial on the history of economic and political thought. Beautifully and entertainingly written.
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