Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System
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Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  14 reviews
For more than half a century, the U.S. dollar has been not just America's currency but the world's. It is used globally by importers, exporters, investors, governments and central banks alike. Nearly three-quarters of all $100 bills circulate outside the United States. The dollar holdings of the Chinese government alone come to more than $1,000 per Chinese resident.

This de...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 13th 2010)
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The dominance of the U.S. dollar; how long will it last?

The author provides an interesting discussion about the rise and the fall of the U.S. dollar in an historical context. The dollar became a power bill only after WWII even though United Sates was the largest economy around 1880. When Europe and Japan was in ruins after WWII, the U.S. dollar gained global attention and became the currency of the world's banks; the kind of cash accepted worldwide. It is an economic consequence of a widespread...more
Informative and timely look at the history of the USD as a reserve currency as well as possible future.

The first few chapters deal with the dollar's debut as an international currency and with Bretton Woods and the rise of the dollar as the dominant international trade currency.

Chapter four primarily deals with the precursors to the Euro as well as the Euro itself. This chapter alone would have made this book. While a lot of history, it does remind one of why France and Germany are so committed...more
In his photo on the dust cover, author Barry Eichengreen shows us a serene, enigmatic smile quite out of keeping with the traditional grey eminences that have long populated the genre of international finance, not to mention the creaky, colorless, impenetrable documents, books and speeches they produce. What does he know that we don't?
Perhaps he is simply musing on the enormous self-importance he surveys among the masters of universe, as they like to style themselves, and their technocratic a...more
Frank Stein
Although this book is a transparent attempt by a respected economist to garner sales out of the current international economic turmoil, and though it provides no new research and even little original synthesis, Eichengreen has a flair for pithy descriptions and revealing anecdotes that makes it a worthwhile read.

For instance, he recounts in detail the meeting between President Nixon and President Pompidou of France in 1971 in the middle of the Atlantic, in the Portuguese Azores, after Nixon ende...more
The publication date of this book appears to have been moved forward--likely in respect of the topics raised in this book being increasingly timely and open to exploitation by the folks who make a living flogging books on a currently "hot" topic.

Given the above backdrop I was a little skeptical of finding some shlocked-up academic paper re-hash or some superficial treatment of a complicated set of topics as I cracked the book open.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by the book; it is a rare f...more
Irvin Sha
As someone who previously did not think much about the U.S. dollar's status as a reserve currency, I found this book to be extremely enlightening. In it, Eichengreen talks at length about what a reserve currency is, how the USD came to be the pre-eminent one throughout the world, the birth of the euro as a potential counterweight, and the effects that the current currency regime has had on the global economy. In this last section, he lays out one of the clearest and most comprehensive dissection...more
I have finished "Exorbitant Privilege" (the dollar book) by
Eichengreen. The author is a former IMF advisor, btw. He is a
(somewhat) conservative technocrat with all the attendant attitudes. He
does proficient job at describing the subject. Towards the end of the
book he analyzes the future of the dollar as world's reserve and
contract settlement currency and its potential replacement. Naturally,
I have a certain stake in dollar's well-being so this subject is of
less than academic concern. He discusse...more
Syed Ashrafulla
This is an interesting read describing rises and falls of currencies post-Mayflower. The theme is the description of how a currency becomes the global reserve, how that currency's holders exert influence, and how those holders lose power as the reserve changes.

The first part of the book is a very good synopsis of the sterling's reign at the top. It describes why having this "exorbitant privilege" is so important. Loosely, because everyone has confidence in your currency, that currency is the cas...more
Exorbitant Privilege is both a monetary history, and outstanding analysis of current events. Within, Eichengreen gives a financial history of the rise of the dollar, from its early origins, to its current status as undisputed king of the world monetary system.
The key link between the financial history and the present analysis is Eichengreen's presentations of financial crises, ranging from the collapse of Bretton Woods, to Britain's withdrawal from Suez. Here is offered apt comparison with curre...more
Dave Peticolas
A history of the US dollar's role in international finance and a bit of speculation about its potential futures.
Steve Yamarik
I nice account of the economic and institutional reasons for the rise of the dollar as the international exchange currency. He weaves a pretty nice and tight narrative chock full of nice accounts and antidotes.\
Probably a tough read for non economists/financiers and certainly too simplistic for those who are. Decent explanation of the exorbitant privilege, but his predictions are weak and overly simplified.
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Barry Eichengreen* is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, England). In 1997-98 he was Senior...more
More about Barry Eichengreen...
Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939: Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-39 (NBER Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development) The European Economy Since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods Capital Flows and Crises

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