Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System
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 $1,000 per Chinese resident.
A) great history of the wranglings to secure global reserve currency status, and the sudden nature of losing said status: see the British sterling of 1947 Greece or 1956 Suez.
And a great history of Bretton Woods eventual dissolution from pegged currencies to the 35$ gold peg/convertibility.
b) a fine look at the current multipolar reserve possibilities, but frankly I'm more sanguine after reading about the fact that the greenback'll be the reserve cu ...more
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
Eichengreen begins by describing the dolla ...more
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Through this book, Barry gives us a good primer to understand the phenomenal rise of dollar as a international currency, its rivalry with British Sterling and the challenges it faces/will face. He puts across his arguments in a lucid and elegant manner, so as a reader, it makes it very engaging and helps us gain insights about the 'greenback' in a systematically. Being an economist himself, he is able to put across the most sophisticated notions very deftly an ...more
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