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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

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  26 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.

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Published December 13th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Malcolm Pellettier
read this on Jamie Galbraith's recommendation.

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
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Lance Cahill
Aug 17, 2015 Lance Cahill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A nice antidote over concerns about the US Dollars role as a global reserve currency, but fell flat in some areas.
Rama
Feb 18, 2014 Rama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
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
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Arbraxan
In 'Exorbitant Privilege' Barry Eichengreen, a prominent economic historian and professor at UC Berkeley, traces the trajectory of the world's reserve currency and draws several sketches how the monetary future of international finance may look like. In case you wonder, 'exorbitant privilege' refers to the economic and - to a lesser degree - political advantages reaped by the United States due to the U.S. dollar being used as the global reserve currency.

Eichengreen begins by describing the dolla
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Robert
Jan 23, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Misha
Mar 26, 2013 Misha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Mark
Dec 09, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
For nearly a century the American dollar has enjoyed a position as the world's dominant currency. As Barry Eichengreen notes, Americans benefit considerably from the dollar's international status, both financially and economically. Yet the recent economic crisis has fueled growing concerns that the dollar's days of dominance are numbered. Eichengreen seeks to address this question in this short study, which looks both at the position of the dollar as an international currency and its prospects f ...more
Ginc Zivers
Feb 19, 2017 Ginc Zivers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economy
Good book about monetary system in the world. About dollars and euros and market dominance.
Adrian
Oct 22, 2012 Adrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Irvin Sha
Dec 25, 2011 Irvin Sha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
William
Jan 17, 2011 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Tim
Jan 07, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Srishath
Apr 06, 2016 Srishath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book by Barry Eichengreen!

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
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Steve
May 03, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the economic history I have encountered in other recent books is presented here much more clearly and succinctly. Though the author's analysis is now five years old, it is still on point, including that the rumors of the dollar's demise are highly exaggerated--as there is really no alternative under current conditions.
Dyanna
Dec 18, 2013 Dyanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign-policy
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.
Tobias
Sep 08, 2015 Tobias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really useful book to read - last chapter alone, on how a US sovereign debt crisis could unfold, made reading worthwhile. Slim book that achieved the relatively modest goal in the subtitle: putting the US dollar's role as a global reserve currency in historical context.
Steve Yamarik
Jan 09, 2012 Steve Yamarik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.\
Nidhan
Jan 18, 2016 Nidhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite interesting book, explaining the rise and power of US dollar.
Dave Peticolas
A history of the US dollar's role in international finance and a bit of speculation about its potential futures.
Jimmy
Jun 17, 2014 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read
R. Eck
Jan 05, 2015 R. Eck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't fear the renminbi as this book suggests. Compete!
IMF is a good thing.
Nan Yang
Nan Yang rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2014
Caral
Caral rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2014
Tom Felker
Tom Felker rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2015
Michael Yang
Michael Yang rated it liked it
Aug 15, 2016
John
John rated it really liked it
May 21, 2013
Alexander
Alexander rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2015
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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
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