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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (601 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Rickards, James Richards Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781596593466
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the most urgent books of the fall.”

    Politico

  • “Rickards…has written one of the scariest books I’ve read this year. Though I was tempted at first to dismiss him as alarmist, his intelligent reasoning soon convinced me that we have more to fear than fear itself. Part history, part primer and analysis, the text covers topics ranging from the ‘misuse of economics’ to complexity theory. The pieces, although disparate, fit together snugly, as in one of those mystery jigsaw puzzles that come with clues in lieu of cover art. The picture that emerges is dark yet comprehensive and satisfying.”

    Bloomberg Businessweek

  • “Unsettling…fascinating…a thorough analysis of how nations have manipulated their currencies…with disastrous consequences.”

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • “Jim Rickards highlights dangerous dynamics between national security and the international financial markets. What we assumed was firm ground under our feet is more like the narrowing point of a precipice. Our politicians, national security experts, and financial markets, each chasing carrots dangling in front of them, fail to see that they are leading America right off the edge.”

    Charles A. Duelfer, former special adviser to the director of the CIA; author of Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Lacy | 2/16/2014

    " A thrilling, informative exploration about the manipulation of monetary policies around the globe for countries to achieve leverage their economic stability and also to undo the economies of other, usually smaller countries. Rickards tells us that the U. S. is one financial disaster, one natural disaster of the scope of Hurricane Katrina or greater because its deficit spending is impaired. If the US were confronted with a major war, it would not have the financial wherewithal to support to support the war. "Vulnerability to foreign creditors is now complete," states Rickards. In the face of any one of these crises, the US would be forced to resort to emergency measures. (p. 188). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis McMahon | 2/9/2014

    " A financial epiphany. Explains in chilling detail that deflating the currency never works and the negative consequences are global. Pray it never happens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Sherrod | 1/15/2014

    " This is the scariest damn book I read since Jeff Sharlet's THE FAMILY. No wait, scarier than that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 1/5/2014

    " This is a great book, it puts perspective to the current macro outlook! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Sharp | 12/23/2013

    " Great read. Intriguing tale of currency manipulation and leveraging to destabilize countries. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy | 12/22/2013

    " Actually read this a couple of months ago. Very interesting. Gave me a lot to think about in the world of global economics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 11/29/2013

    " Holy crap, put away your Neil Gaiman, this is scary for real! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Cox | 11/18/2013

    " Well-researched book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Barbehenn | 11/18/2013

    " Well-written, well-researched, incredibly logical, and utterly terrifying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony | 6/28/2013

    " Yikes! This book makes me want to find a piece of land in a remote area and take up farming. Scary stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/13/2013

    " Great Book everyone should read. A glimpse on how the fed works, and how we live on the edge of financial disaster "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nikas | 9/14/2012

    " An enticing journey into the world of global finance and economics, focused in particular on currency dynamics. Written in a comprehensible style that will be appreciated both by newcomers and experts of the field. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sidhant Godiwala | 3/31/2012

    " Paints a pretty bleak future of the US dollar and the financial world in general. Lets see how reality plays out. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Actiondan | 12/28/2011

    " Savvy and mostly true (probably), but exceedingly dry and a pain to get through. Full disclosure: I was unable to actually get through it. "

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About the Author

James Rickards is a counselor, investment banker, and risk manager with over thirty years of experience in capital markets. He advises the Department of Defense, the US intelligence community, and major hedge funds on global finance. A frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Fox, C-SPAN, Bloomberg TV, and NPR, Rickards also lectures at Northwestern University and at the School of Advanced International Studies.

About the Narrator

Walter Dixon is a broadcast media veteran of more than twenty years’ experience with a background in theater and performing arts and voice work for commercials. After a career in public radio, he is now a full-time narrator with more than fifty audiobooks recorded in genres ranging from religion and politics to children’s stories.