Currency Wars - James Rickards

Currency Wars

By James Rickards

  • Release Date: 2011-11-10
  • Genre: Economics
Score: 4
From 165 Ratings


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 destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.

Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.

As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.

Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.

While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.


  • The key to Enlightenment

    By AZ Grandparent
    This was an absolutely fantastic book. It was relatively easy to read even for an 80 year old. It is scary as heck but realistic and to the point and should be required reading for all members of Congress, the treasury and the Feds. I can't wait for the next one.
  • Descriptive and insightful

    By island happiness
    Tough read, but very explanatory if one has basic finance knowledge. Encouraged for people interested in current topics, the intracacies of world relationship, and expanding knowledge on how currencies function and affect our lives.
  • A Groundbreaking Work

    By Leopold Martinus
    Anyone concerned about the stability of the global economic system and, even more importantly, U.S. national security, should read Currency Wars. Jim Rickards has done the historical research and produced a groundbreaking work. Chapter 10 alone is worth the purchase price.
  • Great read!

    By scottwbernard
    Excellent historical context to a very real economic crisis unfolding around the globe. This book tackles some tough questions with a fascinating perspective.
  • Excellent

    By Moose Overlord
    Rickards' book is informative and a page-turner. It's a bit like Paul Erdman's financial thrillers.