Paulo O'Brien's Reviews > Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System

Globalizing Capital by Barry Eichengreen
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's review
May 21, 10

Read in April, 2010

A bit turgid, this academic history of international banking and the gold standard gave me a lot of perspective on banking and how it came to be the way it is now. Capital is indeed globalized, as necessitated by the need to support foreign exchange in a sane way. (Can you imagine the days when the Bank of England sent clipper ships full of bullion to pay its debts to the Dutch? Feast for pirates!) The book also convinced me that the arguments of the 'gold bugs' -- as to why we need to go back to a currency that is backed by gold -- are fundamentalistic and spurious. For one thing, I am told that if we melted down all the gold in the world, it would only fill up 2 olympic-size swimming pools!

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