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Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods (Cairoli Lectures) Paperback – January 22, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Eichengreen's book should be the starting point for the debate about what will happen after the inevitable end of an unsustainable system. With this and his many other books, Eichengreen has established himself as one of the most important voices in that debate.

(Rawi Abdelal Business History Review)

Barry Eichengreen's examination of international monetary history throws much light on current global imbalances and the serious problems they create for the United States.

(Robert Solomon, guest scholar, Brookings Institution)

History is not what we can readily recall. It is what we must be made to remember before we draw facile analogies between past and present. In this remarkable book, Eichengreen shows why. The present international monetary system may resemble the earlier Bretton Woods system, but Eichengreen finds big differences and argues that the present system is not likely to endure. We may be closer to the end than to the beginning.

(Peter B. Kenen, Senior Fellow in International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations, and Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Princeton University)

Anyone interested in learning how a developing country might fare in eliminating exchange controls and floating its currency would benefit from studying Eichengreen's book. Much richer than its title suggests, it should be required reading for those interested not only in the history of international monetary arrangements but in their future as well.

(Francesco Giavazzi, Bocconi University, Milan)

About the Author

Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Capital Flows and Crises (MIT Press, 2002) and other books.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cairoli Lectures
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (January 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262514141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262514149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
if you want to know how the unprecedented usa current account deficit and "bretton woods 2" stacks up against history, it will be harder to find a better book than this one. Why is the situation the same? why different? what should we expect? these and many more questions are answered in a 4 chapter book that is a MUST read for anyone short the dollar but still a little scared of going up against such large players (the foreign CBs)... the book is meant for people who already have a strong grasp of international monetary theory but no math is involved (so it's a quick read). Well worth the money!
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Rather boring and ultra academic with too many end notes. Chapter 3, titled "How to Exit a Currency Peg: Japan and the End of The Bretton Woods System" presents, but does not derive, time-series regression analysis equations that are supposed to model and predict what will happen to the economy when Japan up pegs the Yen from the dollar. More explanation and detail needs to be provided on the derivation of this economic model. Stating, "We estimate an equation of the form" is not good enough to make Mr. Eichengreen's case believable. Also the input data upon which these equations are to make their predictions are rather sparse, perhaps better presented in an electronic edition of this book.
This book wa originally published in 2007, right before the world-wide Great Recession. It would be interesting to see how how Mr. Eichenberg's opinions and predictions have changed since the events of 2008 and the weeks-old revaluation of the Renminbi.
The interrelationships between currencies of the world is an ongoing story and I would encourage Mr. Eichengreen to update his Bretton Woods Lessons by encorporating the major financial and economic events since his original publication, and publish his update in electronic for so the reader can easily access the underlying data and time-series economic mathematical models. Also, this reader would prefer footnotes to the distracting endnotes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book by Eichengreen!
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Next Bretton Woods system, the gold wasn't ever the principal good for the changes. That produces new situation in the traditional financial back-ground. The USA accepted to mantain the dollar as substitute of the gold, but this fact is related to their influence.
The richness of the Asia countries modifies partially this context, but it isn't very clear the true role of China in the economic equilibria. If before Bretton Woods the great part of the economiy was sthatic, next we must talk about dynamic and not-linear conditions.
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