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The Dollar Crisis: Causes, Consequences, Cures Hardcover – June 25, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...a provocative new book..." (Grant's, 15 August 2003)

"...we strongly recommend...the man seems to have hit the nail right on the noggin..." (The Daily Reckoning)

"...is impeccably researched...provides a useful resume of how the dollar came to be the dominant force in world currency markets..." (www.iii.co.uk (AMPLE), 6 January 2004)

From the Inside Flap

The world economy is sinking into the worst industrial and financial downturn since the 1930s. Stock markets are plunging, major corporations are going bankrupt, and governments are begging for bailouts from the IMF.  In The Dollar Crisis, Richard Duncan explains the nature and the origin of the imbalances that have destablized the global economy.

The books theme is that the global economy has been destabilized by the United States' enormous trade deficit which now exceeds US$50 million. . . AN HOUR or 1.5% of Global GDP per annum. That trade imbalance, financed through debt, has created tremendous disequilibrium in the global economy and an economic bubble in the United States. When that bubble pops and the global economic disequilibrium unwinds, the world will not be able to avoid a very serious economic slump.

The Dollar Crisis is divided into four parts:

Part One describes how the US trade deficits have destabilized the global economy by creating a world-wide credit bubble.

Part Two explains why these giant deficits cannot persist and why a US recession and a collapse in the value of the Dollar are unavoidable.

Part Three analyzes the extraordinarioy harmful impact that the US recession and the collapse of the Dollar will have on the rest of the world.

Part Four offers original recommendations that, if implemented, would help mitigate the damage of the coming worldwide downturn and put in place the foundations for balanced and sutainable economic growth in the decades ahead.

The Dollar Crisis is a must read for investors, bankers, brokers, exporters, economists and anyone else who wants to understand what has gone wrong with the world economy.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470821027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470821022
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Izaak VanGaalen on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the breakdown of Bretton Woods in the early 1970's and the end of the gold standard, the dollar has become the international reserve currency. The 20 years prior to 1970 international reserves increased only about 55%, but since 1970, with the adoption of the dollar standard, reserves have increased over 2,000%. This is primarily a result of US current account deficits, which last year ran about $600 billion - about 3% of GDP. Asian central banks hold about $2 trillion US dollar-denominated reserve assets. This surge in international reserves has created huge imbalances and it is the subject of this book by financial analyst Richard Duncan.

The dollar standard has allowed the US to finance incredibly large deficits by printing more dollars. The dollar standard has on the upside ushered in the age of globalization that has allowed Asian economies - first Japan, then the Tigers, and now China - to devolop by exporting to the US without importing equal amounts, leaving Asian central banks with large stockpiles of dollar reserves. And what can Asian central banks do with these reserves? About the only thing they can do is invest in US corporate stocks and bonds, T-bills, and US agency debt such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (We've been enjoying low mortgage rates because the Asian central banks buy up our debt so we can take out more.) And all these investments in return allow US consumers to buy more of their exports - call it vendor financing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Duncan's "The Dollar Crisis" is written in a fairly straightforward manner. It is a distillation of ideas about the monetary system, and facts and figures and examples. He tries to highlight key facts and ideas, and repeat them sufficiently so you won't miss them.
In this sense its rather good for someone who is not a specialist in this area, or has not been exposed lately to some of the concepts of international monetary exchange. I have an MBA, and a solid background in economics, and found the level to be just a little tedious in places but overall very good for review, and adequate for refreshing my memory.
It may not appeal to readers with no experience in economics or financial matters, since they will need an introduction to what money really is all about, and how an economy functions. It will also not appeal to dogmatic economists, but then, nothing but their own schools ever do anyway.
I am rather enjoying the book, and recommend it to anyone who wishes to delve further into the impact of the money system on macroeconomics and the world's finances, beyond the decision for 'the next trade.'
This book is helping me to think about the dollar as a 'medium of exchange' in a more theoretical manner. It is helping me to focus some of my own thoughts on the subject, and provided a good of the international accounting system.
We really are in uncharted waters. Never before in history has the world had a 'reserve currency' that is relatively unrestrained, with a 'master' who is willing and able to debase it to suit their policy needs, and manipulate markets in concert with their peers to prolong the situation and defeat the regulating systems of the markets, such as interest rates and exchange values.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book presents a fact and chart filled analysis of the recent history of the U.S. economic big picture, and how this fits into the global scenario. From this, Mr. Duncan explains his conclusions on why and when the U.S. dollar will plumment.
He must be commended for all the research and the way the many charts and explanations build a solid case that there IS a considerable long term risk to the dollar, unless the current overall trends (public and private) in the U.S. economy change.
As a layman student of the markets and economics, I found this a very interesting read, and believe that the information presented is valuable to everyone who has a lot of dollar denominated investments.
My main concern, is the author makes the all too common mistake in assuming:
a. His scenario is absolutely certain.
b. His timing (e.g. in our face) of the coming event is certain.
c. His solutions would work, and are a must.
Having read maybe 100 investment books in the last 25 years and having gained a fair amount of experience and perspective, I'll opine that this is vastly overstating his case. More realistically, he makes a strong case for why there are serious risks in a dollar-dominated portfolio, and therefore implicitly makes a strong case for a significant diversification to a global or asset (i.e. real estate, art, etc) segment of a prudent investor's portfolio.
If Mr. Duncan had invested solid effort at the end of the book in providing cogent information about what the typical American investor could do to protect him/herself, instead of trying to convince his audience that he's absolutely right and the problem is imminent -- then this book would have earned 5 stars.
As it is, the reader is forced to come up with the (balanced portfolio) advice on their own, which may well require more investment experience than the average reader can be expected to have.
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