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CURRENCY WARS by James Rickards


The Making of the Next Global Crisis

by James Rickards

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59184-449-5
Publisher: Portfolio

A pioneer in the use of market intelligence for strategic purposes warns of the coming collapse of the dollar-based financial system.

In Rickards’ view, the world is currently going through a third currency war (“CWIII”) based on competitive devaluations. CWII occurred in the 1960s and ’70s and culminated in Nixon's decision to take the dollar off the gold standard. CWI followed WWI and included the 1923 German hyperinflation and Roosevelt's devaluation of the dollar against gold in 1933. Rickards demonstrates that competitive devaluations are a race to the bottom, and thus instruments of a sort of warfare. CWIII, he writes, is characterized by the Federal Reserve's policy of quantitative easing, which he ascribes to what he calls “extensive theoretical work” on depreciation, negative interest rates and stimulation achieved at the expense of other countries. He offers a view of how the continued depreciation and devaluation of the dollar will ultimately lead to a collapse, which he asserts will come about through a widespread abandonment of a worthless inflated instrument. Rickards also provides possible scenarios for the future, including collaboration among a variety of currencies, emergence of a world central bank and a forceful U.S. return to a gold standard through an emergency powers–based legal regime. The author emphasizes that these questions are matters of policy and choice, which can be different.

Intriguing thinking about these current potentials and their history, especially given the dollar's pervasiveness in the pricing and exchange of global assets.