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Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis Paperback – August 28, 2012
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“One of the scariest books I’ve read this year. The picture that emerges is dark yet comprehensive and satisfying.” — Bloomberg Businessweek
“One of the most urgent books of the fall.” — Mike Allen, Politico
“Let’s hope he’s wrong.” — Financial Times
“Unsettling…fascinating…a thorough analysis of how nations have manipulated their currencies…with disastrous consequences.” — Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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.
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international struggle for economic domination, and as pawns they are among the first casualties. The book offers a lively history of the debasement of all the paper currencies which has occurred as a result of the gamesmanship among nations and the ineptitude of the politicians.
The US dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Mr. Rickard's book offers several scenarios as to the fate of the last 3%. The recent failed Bund auction in Germany should have been a wake up call for America. But no one is paying attention!
Buy this book while the few dollars it costs still have the wherewithal to buy anything!
Typically, when we go on vacation we bring 3-4 books along, and I read as my husband drives (or vice versa). We read until we get tired of a topic, and then we switch books so that we can hear something else for a few hours.
WELL, we started out this trip with half a chapter from a pregnancy-related book. Then we switched to Currency Wars, and my husband never wanted us to switch back! He even read some parts on his own when we weren't driving. Usually he just reads news and things online, or listens to audio; I don't think I've seen him actually sit and read a book on his own since I met him. So, the vast majority of our 22+ hours of driving last week were consumed by Currency Wars. We finished the book just as we were arriving home.
My husband would give this 10 stars. He is extremely interested in economic issues and already knew a lot of the information that was presented. Although, there were plenty of new ideas in the book, to capture his attention and keep it. We finished this book three days ago, and he's still talking to me about it. Rickards presented information on several topics that were new to my husband, so now he's researching those things.
I would give this book 5 stars. I probably would not have felt the same "can't put it down" feelings that my husband had (study of economics isn't one of my hobbies), but I did enjoy reading it, and I do feel like the information presented was relevant, and timely, and important for people to understand. Rickards was EXTREMELY well informed on the subject (for instance, the beginning of the book starts with his experience as an expert economist participating in a government war game scenario, and that's an experience that the average economist would not have had, and probably would not even be aware of.) Also, he did a really great job of presenting ideas clearly. He takes topics that are very complicated and simplifies, and explains, and provides relevant, illuminating examples. Reading this book really broadened my understanding of the current economic situation. I came away from the book with a better sense of WHY the economic situation is what it is. I also understand better how currency wars work, and how other countries and economies are affected by what the United States has been doing. Something Rickards sometimes did, which I really enjoyed, was that he identified different issues that needed to be addressed, and then he provided answers to those issues. I didn't think the book was preachy, though, and Rickards doesn't come across as conceited or a know-it-all; he just offers some ideas, while acknowledging that his answers are not the only right ones out there.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the economy, for anyone who thinks the 2012 elections will fix the United States problems, for anyone who has money, or spends money, or plans on living through the next several years. It is a good book, presented in a friendly, interesting manner, well organized, and very relevant.
Rickards sets the stage of currencies' significance with a peek inside the ironclad underground bunker of US strategic military scenario planning walking you through an actual simulation of currency as a driving military force and threat. Rickards then takes you through the major currency wars of the last century: post WWI, post WWII through 2012. He also discusses many of the past centuries driving economic philosophies such as Keynesian thoughts on government spending as a stimulus through its multiplier effect and the Friedman economics of monetarism all the way through new thinking such as complexity economics. All of it gives you a better sense for the driving 20th and 21st century thoughts behind manipulating aggregate demand. You'll leave this book with an acute awareness of the danger of the US strategic currency strategy since the 1960's of dollar debasement followed by the last 20 years of low interest rates and runaway inflation.