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Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,270 ratings  ·  361 reviews
In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon.Currency wars are one of the most dest ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by Portfolio (first published November 2011)
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.vinoe .zelur This book focuses on the history of money, its development, and hints a lot on the impending fall of money. I personally feel it is still relevant to …moreThis book focuses on the history of money, its development, and hints a lot on the impending fall of money. I personally feel it is still relevant to 2017. I would suggest that you take this as a first step in understanding the concepts of money, devaluation, GDP, inflation/deflation etc and then move on to more in-depth reading on each of them. This book is more like a history lesson for around 50% of its pages. (less)
Tâm Lê Maybe It could help if you have the basic of currency. When started reading, I didn't understand the concepts in it, I must google a lot. However, I l…moreMaybe It could help if you have the basic of currency. When started reading, I didn't understand the concepts in it, I must google a lot. However, I learned new things. Keep going on if you really want to learn somethings.

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Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
If you’ve wondered about the secret to Currency Wars’ best-selling success, here’s a clue: it’s essentially a monetary version of Left Behind for apocalyptic “end the fed” types fearful of an IMF-led New World Order. That’s less a reflection on the tone of James Rickards’ writing—though somewhat alarmist, he’s a lawyer and finance professional, not a Tim LaHaye-like rapture peddler—than the worldviews his book will be used to support. Apart from Rickards’ Twitter spat with Nouriel Roubini, I hav ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The author did a good job of explaining the history and politics of currency wars, and yes, there are always nationalistic politics involved. After reading this book, I understand what QE 1, 2 and 3 are: ways for the US to export inflation to China (and others) by devaluing the US dollar. China is the major recipient of the inflation since they peg their currency, the RNB, to the US dollar. The devaluation of the US dollar relative to other counties' currencies makes US exports cost less and is ...more
Bill Gartner
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good book - but not a particularly "fun" read. The topic is pretty deep, but even with no formal background in economics (like me), the book is readable and the author does a good job of explaining the issues. The basic proposition is quite scary - that currency manipulation can be used as an effective mechanism to destroy an economy. Given the fragility of the US economy (debt being held by China, others), this is more than plausible. He favors a return in some form to a gold s ...more
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rickards frames his book with an anecdote about his participation in a pentagon war game designed to simulate financial markets. The war game, like the book as a whole, disintegrates from promising to insubstantial. The participants in the war game are portrayed as largely clueless, the rules and outcomes appear arbitrary. I can't decide whether Rickards is sworn to secrecy on the details, whether he is just a poor story-teller, or whether the group of paid consultants participating in, and the ...more
Amara Tanith
Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis is ostensibly that: a book about currency wars. But while much of the book does indeed focus on competitive devaluation, what Currency Wars really boils down to is James Rickards' love affair with the gold standard, and, to a lesser extent, his libertarian values and pride in 'Murica ("a nation whose moral values are historically exceptional", my ass).

Full review to come at Amara's Eden.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I received this book for free in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." If that is the case, then James Rickards certainly has that intelligence, because his book is constantly at war with itself to the point that this reviewer cannot recommend it.

When Rickards is addresses the specific issues of monetary policy, both in term
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, business
James Rickard is great and easy to understand. I've also watched some of his presentations at investor conferences. I first read "Death of Money" and for some reason got interested in reading "Currency Wars." Based on what I remember from Death of Money, I did not need to read this book. I think they are pretty much the same. Also, I am growing skeptical of his bearish claims. He was predicting the same dire consequences in 2010, that he does in Death of Money. I tend to agree with his thesis, b ...more
Robert Kroese
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is frankly terrifying.

Rickards starts with a historical tour, highlighting the near-catastrophic results of two previous currency wars — the first of which led to the Great Depression and World War II, and the second of which led the malaise and stagflation of the 1970s. In each case, governments desperate to bolster domestic employment vastly increased the supply of their currency (by printing money or through other means) in order to prop up exports. In some cases this tactic worked
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This book is the blueprint to current events. What is happening to the dollar? What is at risk in our fiscal relationship with China? With Europe? What are the implications of Obama's policy to double exports? How will we get out of this depression?

It is most remarkable to read such a prescient book in the midst of what Rickards' calls the third currency war. Many already familiar with how the Federal Reserve works, with deficit spending, and a general knowledge of stocks and bonds may not be fa
Sukriti Aggarwal
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is one of the finest books to understand currency wars ;its evolution , impact ,past etc .
Kirk Houghton
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
How does QE export inflation from the US to China and cripple Brazil’s export market? Can the dollar survive as a fiat currency or will it have to be backed by a commodity once again? Why has the Federal Reserve failed on every level since 1913? How might enemy nations bring down the dollar?
These questions are all answered in this alarming book written by former Investment Banker and Risk Manager, James Rickards, who believes the US dollar cannot survive in its current format.
But first, let’s st
Ian Robertson
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
James Rickards has combined a thought provoking mix of history, economics, current events, and his own experience to produce a fascinating and thought provoking book. As the title suggests, it focuses on the relative value of the US dollar versus other currencies, and the possible and probable outcomes of the current fiscal and monetary policies (the so-called ‘wars’) of major economies. Crisply written with just the right level of theory to prove points without dragging the reader into detailed ...more
Shivanshu Singh
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Currency Wars discusses the emergence of a new frontier in the theatre of modern warfare that is often underestimated by the world governments. This book does a great job of explaining the complex economics phenomena involving currency flow, international trading, international monetary systems in simple terms. However, sometimes it becomes hard to follow when the author dives into its subtleties. From WWI to 2010, this book covers, in chronological order, various financial recessions and crisis ...more
Malek Dabbous
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book provides a great brief on the currency wars going on around the world and their impacts on our daily lives. Lots to learn from this read and it's delivered in a historical, economical and financial way. I recommend this to everyone as we can all benefit from learning about the Quantitative Easing and currency devaluation that countries are conducting, despite negative impact to the global economy. ...more
Ashish Samuel
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Reading this book felt a lot like watching the movie 2012, after the year 2012. In fact it has a dramatic flair that even exceeds the movie. The first page itself shows how outdated the book is. James Rickards declares that Obama will go back to the gold-backed currency regime. This audacious and miscalculated prediction perhaps makes him cringe now, though his subsequent books suggest otherwise.

Rickards quickly follows it with a financial war game he participated in at the Pentagon. It sounds a
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Being myself a lawyer, interested in finance and economics, I read books on the topic. However, I would recommend you to be wary of lawyers who actually write such books. Aparently, this Rickards guy is too self-important and full of sh*t. Although, you shouldn't take my opinion for truth of last instance.

I might have overrated the book due to my lack of expertise. The research is not in-depth, but it is still of some value as a more or less fine introduction to the subject. Also, I was glad to
Troy Tegeder
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thorough and well written. While many parts were very interesting, this is not a light read. At times, it can be dry and complicate day the same time. Scary to think how much our currency is pegged to nothing but perception, and how China could destroy our currency by calling in our debt to then when their bonds come due. Savers lose, speculators stand to win in our world of government-controlled currency.

Empirical data is explained, showing that Keynesian multipliers are negative when governme
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A few notable excerpts:
The classical gold standard.
The classical gold standard (1870-1914) was a period with almost no inflation characterized by technology improvements in communication and transportation.
Bretton Woods System.
The Bretton Woods Conference was held in New Hampshire in July 1944. “The result was a set of rules that shaped the international monetary system for the next three decades.” New monetary system was anchored to gold through a USD convertible into gold at $35 per ounce and
Ben Galbraith
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've never thought much about our financial system. Every so often my curiosity is aroused at how it is those Wall Street traders are able to profit so handsomely from things like arbitrage and other forms of cream-skimming, but generally, I'm focused on other things.

So Currency Wars has been quite an education for me, and a very interesting one. I learned from it the relatively immaturity of our particular form of currency, for example. I didn't know that for most of the past two hundred years,
John Martindale
This book was quite interesting, helping me understand a little more:

Why the FED does all the horrible things it does
Why FDR confiscated American's gold with an executive order &
Why our president could possibly do the same thing if a crisis arises.
Why the GOV is intentionally trying to devalue the dollar with QE
Why the elite laugh at those who speak of the need for a gold standard
Why the last two global currency wars hurt even the winners

Its something else how entangled our world is together
Clement Ting
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
It is unfortunate that I am unable to fully comprehend the idea as I am not all too familiar with the gold standard. Readers in my shoes should not worry too much as the author however did try his best to give a good history course with some brief explanations on the gold standard. I find that very helpful, albeit very minimal to fully appreciate the whole book. A second round of reading after some thorough study on the gold standard would most definitely be helpful.

Regardless, the general conce
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a tough book for me, as I really didn't understand so much of it. That is my own failing and not that of the author's, who did a great job of laying out what a currency war is, how previous currency wars have played out, and what is happening with the current one. I think this book only covers up to 2011, so I wonder how much has changed since he wrote it.

Without a doubt, our current economic situation in the US (as well as the rest of the world) is tremendously stress and headed for v
Johan Harith
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rickards is a well trained and experienced, commentator on economics, geopolitics and finance.

This book illustrates the cracks in the world financial system. It reveals just how fragile the game governments are playing is and how even a currency war with no obvious mortal victims is actually a deadly game of attrition.

The book itself "...reads like a thriller." ~ Max Keiser RT, and with its mentioning of financial war games, government planning, strategy and the nature of money itself, those w
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book. It covers a lot that I feel like I knew generally but gives some technical details to back up the claims making macroeconomics a lot less "theoretical." I also think that the global economy and the dynamics that support it are even more complicated than I thought and the merits of some measure of intervention are a bit more gray than I had imagined. There was quite a bit in the book that was over my head regarding high finance and Wall Street jargon.

The chapter on co
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never did develop a real interest in macroeconomics topics though I got a degree in economics, probably due to the concepts were quite far away from my twenty-something mind and life. The way this book put the concepts in historical and "war" context makes this a interesting read. Like a Chinese saying "商場如戰場", international trade is always a war zone and currency is no doubt a weapon. Currency wars have happened before, and will happen again, until everyone realizes that it is a mutually dest ...more
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The path of the dollar is unsustainable and therefore the dollar will not be sustained." So writes this clear-thinking author as the first line in his concluding chapter. This is an outstanding book that should be read and digested by every thinking American voter.

Of course, it won't be. And so we all in for perilous times as our thoughtless Fed continues to devalue our dollar and ruin our economy. The racking up of astounding public debt every year doesn't help out either. We're shackling our
Arun Babji
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I learnt a lot about currency wars of the past, advantages that nations gained by cheating, the difficulty of nations trusting each other during difficult times, Power law and complexity theory, and how we are headed towards a bigger crisis. Though the book was written in 2011, the current COVID crisis seems to play out exactly like the author envisioned - a race among nations to print more currency; demonize the creditor (China) while devaluing currency and outstanding foreign debt. Great read!
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Agree with most of the summary except for the author's point that gold is the solution.

Rapid inflation is the enemy. The author believes Keynes is totally wrong. I don't see it that way.

Author believes we can create a system that is self regulating, instead of choosing better rules and better regulators.

Counter cyclical spending is important.

Instead of a gold standard, why don't we just have actual honest inflation numbers? The fed just adjusts the money supply to ensure inflation do
Anil Swarup
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting, incisive and credible analysis of what is going wrong in the financial world and why the latest currency war is being fought. The author also provides for a prescription to deal with the situation. He is firmly of the view that the Keynesian is not the right one now as the objective conditions are different from what existed during the great depression. The author advocates a proactive role for the IMF and revival of a refined version of the dormant SDR to prevent the currency wa ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's a complicated issue and I find it difficult to follow all the players and how things have evolved over time, but I think Jim Rickards does a good job explaining the history, the various economic theories that have been used, the flaws in the system, and where we might be headed. I recommend this book to anybody who wants to try to understand where we are currently, in regards to the global economy and the value of our money (US$). If you are keeping up with the new ...more
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“A prohibition on the hoarding or possession of gold was integral to the plan to devalue the dollar against gold and get people spending again. Against this background, FDR issued Executive Order 6102 on April 5, 1933, one of the most extraordinary executive orders in U.S. history. The blunt language over the signature of Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaks for itself: I, Franklin D. Roosevelt . . . declare that [a] national emergency still continues to exist and . . . do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the . . . United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations.... All persons are hereby required to deliver, on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal reserve bank . . . or to any member of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them.... Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order . . . may be fined not more than $10,000 or . . . may be imprisoned for not more than ten years. The people of the United States were being ordered to surrender their gold to the government and were offered paper money at the exchange rate of $20.67 per ounce. Some relatively minor exceptions were made for dentists, jewelers and others who made “legitimate and customary” use of gold in their industry or art. Citizens were allowed to keep $100 worth of gold, about five ounces at 1933 prices, and gold in the form of rare coins. The $10,000 fine proposed in 1933 for those who continued to hoard gold in violation of the president’s order is equivalent to over $165,000 in today’s money, an extraordinarily large statutory fine. Roosevelt followed up with a” 3 likes
“There is hardly a part of the United States where men are not aware that secret private purposes and interests have been running the government.” President Woodrow Wilson” 2 likes
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