global reserve currency

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pages: 381 words: 101,559

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis by James Rickards

Asian financial crisis, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, game design, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, high net worth, income inequality, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Myron Scholes, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, one-China policy, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

This is because financial war is easily manipulated and allows for concealed actions, and is also highly destructive. Consideration of such military doctrine suggests that the future of geopolitics might not be the benign multilateral ethos of Davos Man but a rather more dark and dystopian world of resource scarcity, infrastructure collapse, mercantilism and default. China’s call to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency, routinely dismissed by bien-pensant global elites, might be taken more seriously if they were as familiar with Chinese financial warfare strategy as with Keynesian theory. China’s main link with the global financial system is the U.S. government bond market. China may be history’s oldest civilization and a rising superpower, but on Wall Street it is more likely to be viewed as the best customer in the world.

• November 19, 2008: Dow Jones reports that China is considering a target of four thousand metric tons for its official gold reserves to diversify against the risks of holding U.S. dollars. • February 9, 2009: The Financial Times reports that transactions in gold bullion have reached an all-time record. • March 18, 2009: Reuters reports that the United Nations supports calls for the abandonment of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. • March 30, 2009: Agence France Presse reports that Russia and China are cooperating on the creation of a new global currency. • March 31, 2009: The Financial Times reports that China and Argentina have entered into a currency swap, which would allow Argentina to use Chinese yuan in lieu of dollars. • April 26, 2009: Agence France Presse reports that China is calling for the reform of the world monetary system and replacement of the U.S. dollar as the leading reserve currency

” • December 13, 2010: French president Nicolas Sarkozy calls for the consideration of a wider role for SDRs in the international monetary system. • December 15, 2010: BusinessWeek reports that China and Russia have jointly called for the dollar’s role in world trade to be diminished and are launching a yuan-ruble trade currency settlement mechanism. This is just a sample of the many reports indicating that China, Russia, Brazil and others are seeking an alternative to the dollar as a global reserve currency. A role for commodities as the basis for a new currency is another frequent refrain. These are daunting trends and pose difficult choices. Upholding U.S. national security interests cannot be done without knowing the dynamics of global capital markets. U.S. dependence on traditional rivals to finance its debt constrains not only fiscal policy but U.S. national security and military options.


pages: 571 words: 106,255

The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, delayed gratification, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, global reserve currency, high net worth, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, iterative process, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Britain's representative was none other than John Maynard Keynes, whose economic teachings were to be wrecked on the shores of reality in the decades following the war, while America's representative, Harry Dexter White, would later be uncovered as a Communist who was in contact with the Soviet regime for many years.11 In the battle for centrally planned global monetary orders, White was to emerge victorious with a plan that even made Keynes's look not entirely unhinged. The United States was to be the center of the global monetary system, with its dollars being used as a global reserve currency by other central banks, whose currencies would be convertible to dollars at fixed exchange rates, while the dollar itself would be convertible to gold at a fixed exchange rate. To facilitate this system, the United States would take gold from other countries' central banks. Whereas the American people were still prohibited from owning gold, the U.S. government promised to redeem dollars in gold to other countries' central banks at a fixed rate, opening what was known as the gold exchange window.

The actual numbers will surely vary from this, but not by much. (See Table 7.9) Table 7 Bitcoin Supply and Growth Rate (Projected) Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 Total BTC supply, millions 17.415 18.055 18.527 18.855 19.184 19.512 19.758 19.923 20.087 Annual growth rate, % 3.82 3.68 2.61 1.77 1.74 1.71 1.26 0.83 0.82 Figure 15 extrapolates the growth rate of the main global reserve currencies' broad money supply and gold over the past 25 years into the next 25 years, and increases the supply of bitcoins by the programmed growth rates. By these calculations, the bitcoin supply will increase by 27% in the coming 25 years, whereas the supply for gold will increase by 52%, the Japanese yen by 64%, the Swiss franc by 169%, the U.S. dollar by 272%, the euro by 286%, and the British pound by 429%.

Bitcoin's immutable monetary supply makes it the best medium to store the value produced from the limited human time, thus making it arguably the best store of value humanity has ever invented. To put it differently, Bitcoin is the cheapest way to buy the future, because Bitcoin is the only medium guaranteed to not be debased, no matter how much its value rises. (See Figure 21.3) In 2018, with Bitcoin only nine years old, it has already been adopted by millions4 worldwide and its current supply growth rate compares with that of the global reserve currencies. In terms of the stock‐to‐flow ratio discussed in Chapter 1, the existing stockpiles of Bitcoin in 2017 were around 25 times larger than the new coins produced in 2017. This is still less than half of the ratio for gold, but around the year 2022, Bitcoin's stock‐to‐flow ratio will overtake that of gold, and by 2025, it will be around double that of gold and continue to increase quickly into the future while that of gold stays roughly the same, given the dynamics of goldmining discussed in Chapter 3.


pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, yield curve

Sometimes, it’s for pretty much the same reasons people go to pawnshops—because they need the cash immediately, in order to balance their books; sometimes it’s as a part of much more complicated strategies to do with the mix of risks and assets on their books; and sometimes it’s a bit more shady than that, as when Lehman Brothers, just before the bank collapsed, used a repo to hide $50 billion of dodgy assets from the Feds. reserve currency A currency held in large quantities by foreign governments and companies: at the moment, the global reserve currency is the US dollar. (In the first quarter of 2013, the dollar made up 62.2 percent of foreign exchange reserves, the euro 23.7 percent). That means in effect that the dollar is the earth’s currency: for instance, almost all commodity transactions are priced in dollars, including the most important one of all, oil. Being able to print as much of the global reserve currency as it wants is a huge economic advantage for the USA. resource curse A bitter thing. It refers to the tragic fact that the discovery of natural resources in a poor or developing country often turns into a disaster.

paradis fiscal The wonderful French term for tax haven—I love the idea that a tax-free location is a form of paradise, in which people spend all their time cavorting on yachts. petrodollar Money made by selling oil; these transactions are denominated in US dollars because the USA made a deal with Saudi Arabia, after the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971, as a way of maintaining demand for the US dollar as the de facto global reserve currency. positional goods Things whose value is determined not by how useful they are in themselves but by the fact that other people can’t have them. The term was coined by Fred Hirsch in his 1976 book Social Limits to Growth. Positional goods are tools for signaling status, and the fact that the owner of the positional good is doing better than the people around her. The idea is that as economies grow, more things become more available and more affordable to more people; but some things don’t, because their supply is fixed.

A huge number of financial instruments of all types are synthetic, and synthetic funds played a big role in the kinds of speculation that fueled the credit crunch, a process brilliantly described in Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short. T-bonds US Treasury debt, historically regarded as the safest in the world, because the United States is the word’s biggest economy, because the US dollar is the global reserve currency, and because the country can print its own money. Thanks to Republican actions in Congress, that status is now in question, and T-bonds lost their AAA super-secure status during arguments about the US government debt ceiling in 2011. The shorter-duration form of Treasury debt, which matures in one, three, or six months, is known as the T-bill, whereas T-notes mature in a range from two to ten years.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

More recently the Saudis publicly displayed their displeasure with the United States and moved decisively to secure weapons from Russia, nuclear technology from Pakistan, and security assistance from Israel. The resulting Saudi-Russian-Egyptian alliance removes another prop from under the dollar and creates a community of interest between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which had already announced its preference for an international monetary system free from dollar hegemony. For a GCC currency to become a true global reserve currency as opposed to a trade currency, further deepening of GCC financial markets and infrastructure would be needed. However, Saudi Arabia’s reevaluation of its security relations with the United States combined with the euro’s expansion and the efforts of the BRICS and the SCO to acquire gold and escape dollar dominance could presage a quite rapid diminution in the dollar’s international reserve-currency role

The top five managers at the IMF, seated around a conference table, effectively speak for the world. David Lipton’s is the single most powerful voice, more powerful than Christine Lagarde’s, because the United States has a veto over all important actions by the IMF. This doesn’t mean Lipton doesn’t play for the team; on many issues the United States and the IMF see eye to eye—including the dollar’s eventual replacement as the global reserve currency. Lipton’s veto power means that changes will take place at a tempo dictated by any quid pro quo that the United States demands. Lipton is one of numerous Robert Rubin protégés, who include Timothy Geithner, Jack Lew, Michael Froman, Larry Summers, and Gary Gensler. These men have for years controlled U.S. economic strategy in the international arena. Robert Rubin was Treasury secretary from 1995 to 1999, after having worked several years in the Clinton White House as National Economic Council director.

The SDR’s history is as colorful as its expected future. It was not part of the original Bretton Woods monetary architecture agreed to in 1944. It was an emergency response to a dollar crisis that began in 1969 and continued in stages through 1981. During the Bretton Woods system’s early decades, from 1945 to 1965, international monetary experts worried about a so-called dollar shortage. At that time the dollar was the dominant global reserve currency, essential to international trade. Europe’s and Japan’s industrial bases had been devastated during the Second World War. Both Europe and Japan had human capital, but neither possessed the dollars or gold needed to pay for the machinery and raw materials that could revive their manufacturing. The dollar shortage was partly alleviated by Marshall Plan aid and Korean War spending, but the greatest boost came from the U.S. consumer’s newfound appetite for high-quality, inexpensive imported goods.


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

The likelihood of China running current account deficits or allowing a meaningful liberalisation of capital account transactions any time soon is negligible. If anything, the surplus is likely to increase again as growth slows in the future. Consequently, the Renminbi is strongly handicapped when it comes to becoming a more serious global reserve currency. It is still possible for businesses and commercial organisations to use the Renminbi more for transactions in the future but that is quite different from becoming a more important global reserve currency. Second, for all the fanfare about the Renminbi’s inclusion in the Special Drawing Rights, it isn’t clear that this has much practical purpose other than to confer modest status. The SDR is not going to dethrone the US dollar, and there haven’t really been any significant initiatives to issue substantial quantities of SDR bonds or enhance its global usage.

Ultimately, China will have to inflate or deflate its way out of debt, but both options raise penetrating questions about its capacity to absorb both the economic and social consequences. Chapter 5 reviews the Renminbi trap, asking whether China can keep its currency stable in the wake of the debt problem. It also considers the structural shortcomings that will prevent the Renminbi becoming a truly global reserve currency. Chapter 6 considers the demographic trap in the fastest ageing country on earth. Ageing is occurring substantially faster than it has done in the West, and at lower levels of income per head, giving rise to the question of whether China will get old before it gets rich. Chapter 7 focuses on the middle-income trap, a condition which is primarily about the quality and effectiveness of governance and institutions.

Since China is susceptible to capital flight in spite of capital controls, we should expect the Renminbi to be weaker in future. The existence of capital controls buys China time, but not in perpetuity. In any event, because a significant liberalisation of outward capital movements is unlikely, and an external balance of payments surplus will persist for the time being, the often propagated belief that the Renminbi will become a major international or even significant global reserve currency is another example of the triumph of rhetoric over reality. Over the next twenty years and beyond, Xi’s China must find its own coping mechanisms to deal with a rapidly ageing population and declining labour force. These will play out in a quarter of the time that it took in most advanced economies, and at lower levels of income and wealth per head of population. The starting point in terms of pension and healthcare coverage is good, but benefits are not generous or well funded, and in cities rural migrant workers without urban registration are still discriminated against.


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

By the autumn of 2011, government bond yields were very low round the world, leaving investors very vulnerable to inflation, currency depreciation or default. The European crisis has shown that government bonds are not the risk-free asset that they had been assumed to be. OPTIONS FOR CHANGE So how might the system change? Much of the discussion concerns whether the US dollar will be replaced as the global reserve currency by the Chinese renminbi, or whether it will simply be one of a range of reserve currencies including the euro, renminbi and yen. The global reserve currency is the currency that forms the biggest proportion of the holdings of central banks. More broadly, however, it is also the one most likely to be accepted by merchants in other countries; if you are a tourist in Africa, you will be better off trying to buy goods with dollars than pounds or yen. In my view, the debate about whether the dollar will be replaced by the renminbi is a bit of a red herring.

But convergence was also a sign that, when push came to shove, the markets did not believe the no-bailout clause. They thought governments would have to rescue their neighbours in the end. A lack of fiscal discipline was thus implied from the start. The initial performance of the euro on the currency markets did not inspire that much confidence either. Far from challenging the dollar as the new global reserve currency, the euro steadily lost value, dropping from around $1.18 as an initial value in 1999 to be worth just 82 cents in October 2000. But those who thought the euro was doomed to early failure were proved wrong. The currency rallied from that low, established itself as a fixture in international trading and as a currency for debt issuance. No countries were forced to quit the euro-zone in its early years, quite the reverse: other nations queued up to join.

The official news agency, Xinhua, said that ‘The US government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone. China, the largest creditor of the world’s sole superpower, has every right to demand the United States address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets. International supervision over the issue of US dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.’ Despite the rhetoric, an outright Chinese abandonment of the dollar is out of the question. They already own so much in the way of US government debt that any indication of their intention to sell would cause a plunge in bond prices. As has been the case so often in this book, the fates of creditor and debtor are locked together.


pages: 310 words: 90,817

Paper Money Collapse: The Folly of Elastic Money and the Coming Monetary Breakdown by Detlev S. Schlichter

bank run, banks create money, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, currency peg, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, inflation targeting, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, open economy, Ponzi scheme, price discovery process, price mechanism, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, savings glut, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Y2K

In any case, the following decades saw further institutional changes to the monetary infrastructure designed to facilitate more money creation, to make the currency more elastic. In 1933 President Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard domestically. A tenuous connection to gold was sustained for a few decades after World War II, but in 1971 President Nixon took the dollar off gold internationally, too. Most other currencies had already severed direct links to gold and had only maintained an indirect one through the dollar as the global reserve currency. Since 1971, the entire world has thus been on a paper money standard for the first time in history. Money can now be created out of nothing, at no cost and without limit. When money was ultimately still gold, money-induced business cycles used to be fairly short, although still painful. The credit boom was limited by the inelasticity of bank reserves. When banks had lowered reserve ratios too much, they had to cut back on new lending, and when this occurred nobody could provide extra reserves to the banks and thereby extend the credit boom further.

It is this internationally coordinated paper money production that explains all the phenomena that the savings glut theorists concern themselves with: the large United States current account deficit and the corresponding Asian surpluses; the concurrence of low savings and high levels of consumption with extensive investment in real estate in the United States, coupled with relatively low levels of official consumer goods inflation; and simultaneously, on the part of China, the extraordinary accumulation of foreign currency reserves and of Treasury securities holdings, and the explosion in domestic credit and in domestic investment activity. Whether this process was the outcome of the deliberate design of U.S. policy makers is immaterial. It may simply be that the dollar’s status as a global reserve currency and the importance of the U.S. goods market for the export sectors of other countries lead to policies that furthered a de facto globally coordinated money and credit boom. Summary In the context of the stylized history of state-sponsored fractional-reserve banking just described, the pinnacle of paper money production has now been reached. All inhibiting factors that have the power to short-circuit the artificial money–induced boom have now been removed: true interbank competition with real risk of bankruptcy, commodity money of strictly limited supply and outside the control of the state, and feedback from tight money regimes abroad.

See also money, paper money Enron equilibrium, economic European Central Bank (ECB) evenly rotating economy F Fannie Mae Federal Reserve establishment of fiat money fiduciary model Fisher, Irving foreign exchange market Foster, William Trufant fractional-reserve banking as Ponzi scheme controls of misconceptions about stability of state and understanding franc France, paper money and Freddie Mac Friedman, Milton functions of money G GDP. See gross domestic product Geldwertstabilisierung und Konjunkterpolitik The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money Germany, paper money and global foreign exchange market global reserve currency global state fiat money standard gold gold standard Nixon and resurrecting Roosevelt and goldsmiths Goldtheorie und Konjunkturtheorie goods production, money production versus government debt, monetization of government, funding Great Depression greenbacks Gresham’s law gross domestic product (GDP) effect of money injections on H Harrison, Henry Hayek, Fredrich August von hyperinflation I IMF.


pages: 354 words: 105,322

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by James Rickards

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, jitney, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Pierre-Simon Laplace, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, reserve currency, RFID, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transfer pricing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

The most recent issuance was in August 2009, near the depths of the global recession that followed the 2008 panic; the last issuance before that was in 1981. By September 30, 2016, SDR204.1 billion were outstanding, equal to about $285 billion at then-current exchange rates. One interesting property of the SDR is that it solves Triffin’s dilemma. This economic conundrum was posed by Belgian economist Robert Triffin in testimony to the U.S. Congress in 1960. Triffin observed that the issuer of a global reserve currency had to run persistent deficits to supply the world with sufficient reserves for normal trade. Yet a nation that runs deficits long enough goes broke. In this context, going broke means trading partners lose confidence in the stable value of the reserve currency and reject it in favor of alternatives. SDRs solve this problem because the issuer, the IMF, is not a country and does not run deficits.

These timescales vary due to the system scale in which the dynamic occurs, and the tempo of reaction functions among constituent parts of the system. A financial collapse is a supernova—a momentous event that can last for years, or, in a real supernova, millennia. This is not because the event is less dynamic, but because system scale is more vast. A currency collapse that moved in what seemed slow motion was the fall of sterling and the rise of the U.S. dollar as the dominant global reserve currency. Ratification of the Final Act of the Bretton Woods conference on December 27, 1945, is seen as a convenient date to mark the moment the dollar officially eclipsed sterling. This was based on the new world monetary order agreed at Bretton Woods in July 1944 that defined the special role of the dollar anchored to gold with other currencies tied to the dollar, and limited scope for devaluation under IMF supervision.

Sterling’s role from 1914 to 1944 was a façade. The fact that London remained a financial center, and sterling remained a reserve currency, had more to do with Britain’s captive market in the British Empire, and the sufferance of anglophile bankers at J. P. Morgan, than with intrinsic strength. Scholar Barry Eichengreen brilliantly laid out this transition and the seesaw struggle between the dollar and sterling for the global reserve currency crown in the interwar years in his book Golden Fetters. Sterling lost reserve status de facto in 1914, yet the world did not see the denouement until 1944. Thirty years is not a nanosecond. Still, sterling’s collapse was an unstoppable dynamic process. Insiders at J. P. Morgan knew the score; they handled gold on a daily basis and saw the global flows. Perhaps today’s dollar has already lost its dominant status, a fact seen by certain insiders, yet not known to investors because of the façade of empire the United States still projects.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

An individual state cannot monetise its debts by printing its own currency because the immediate effect will be to devalue the local currency against the US dollar. There are other currencies which might be used for global trade – pounds sterling (which used to be the global reserve currency), the euro and the yen and maybe in the future the Chinese yuan. But these have so far not threatened the position of the US dollar and occasional proposals to replace the dollar with a market-basket of currencies (of the sort that Keynes originally proposed at Bretton Woods in 1944) have so far been rebuffed by the USA. Considerable benefits accrue to the USA, after all, from its control over the global reserve currency. US imperial power has been exercised either directly or indirectly by dollar diplomacy. The hegemony of the US state in the world system is largely sustained by its control over the world currency and its ability to print money to pay, for example, for its excessive military expenditures.

283 Maddison, Angus 227 Maghreb 174 Malcolm X 291 Maldives 260 Malthus, Thomas 229–30, 232–3, 244, 246, 251 Manchester 149, 159 Manhattan Institute 143 Mansion House, London 201 manufacturing 104, 239 Mao Zedong 291 maquilas 129, 174 Marcuse, Herbert 204, 289 market cornering 53 market economy 198, 205, 276 marketisation 243 Marshall Plan 153 Martin, Randy 194 Marx, Karl 106, 118, 122, 142, 207, 211 and alienation 125, 126, 213 in the British Museum library 4 on capital 220 conception of wealth 214 on the credit system 239 and deskilling 119 on equal rights 64 and falling profits 107 and fetishism 4 on freedom 207, 208, 213 and greed 33 ‘industrial reserve army’ 79–80 and isolation of workers 125 labour theory of value 109 and monetary system reforms 36 monopoly power and competition 135 reality and appearance 4, 5 as a revolutionary humanist 221 and social reproduction 182 and socialist utopian literature 184 and technological innovation 103 and theorists of the political left 54 and the ‘totally developed individual’ 126–7 and world crises xiii; Capital 57, 79–80, 81, 82, 119, 129, 132, 269, 286, 291–2 The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 269, 286 Grundrisse 97, 212–13 Theories of Surplus Value 1 Marxism contradiction between productive forces and social relations 269 ‘death of Marxism’ xii; ecologically sensitive 263 and humanism 284, 286, 287 ‘profit squeeze’ theory of crisis formation 65 traditional Marxist conception of socialism/ communism 91 Marxists 65, 109 MasterCard Priceless 275 Mau Mau movement 291 Melbourne 141 merchants 67 and industrial capital 179 price-gouging customers 54 and producers 74–5 Mercosur 159 Mexican migrants 115, 175, 195–6 Mexico 123, 129, 174 Mexico City riots (1968) x microcredit 194, 198 microfinance 186, 194, 198, 211 Microsoft 131 Middle East 124, 230 Milanovic, Branko 170 military, the capacities and powers 4 dominance 110 and technology 93, 95 ‘military-industrial complex’ 157 mind-brain duality 70 mining 94, 113, 123, 148, 239, 257 MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 292 Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas 264 Mitchell, Timothy 122 Modern Times (film) 103 Mondragon 180 monetarism xi monetary wealth and incomes, inequalities in (1920s) x 1071 monetisation 44, 55, 60, 61, 62, 115, 192–3, 198, 235, 243, 250, 253, 261, 262 money abandonment of metallic basis of global moneys 30, 37, 109 circulation of 15, 25, 30–31, 35 coinage 15, 27, 29, 30 commodification of 57 commodity moneys 27–31 creation of 30, 51, 173, 233, 238–9, 240 credit moneys 28, 30, 31, 152 cyber moneys 36, 109–10 electronic moneys 27, 29, 35, 36, 100 and exchange value 28, 35, 38 fiat 8, 27, 30, 40, 109, 233 gap between money and the value it represents 27 global monetary system 46–7 love of money as a possession 34 measures value 25, 28 a moneyless economy 36 oxidisation of 35 paper 15, 27, 29, 30, 31, 37, 40, 45 power of 25, 36, 59, 60, 62, 65–66, 131–6, 245, 266 quasi-money 35 relation between money and value 27, 35 represented as numbers 29–30 and social labour 25, 27, 31, 42, 55, 88, 243 and the state 45–6, 51, 173 storage of value 25, 26, 35 the US dollar 46–7 use value 28 money capital 28, 32, 59, 74, 142, 147, 158, 177, 178 money laundering 54, 109 ‘money of account’ 27–8, 30 monopolisation 53, 145 monopoly, monopolies 77 and competition 131–45, 218, 295 corporate 123 monetary system 45, 46, 48, 51 monopoly power 45, 46, 51, 93, 117, 120, 132, 133–4, 136, 137, 139, 141, 142–3 monopoly pricing 72, 132 natural 118, 132 of state over legitimate use of force and violence 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 see also prices, monopoly monopsony 131 Monsanto 123 Montreal Protocol 254, 259 ‘moral restraints’ 229, 233 mortgages 19, 21, 28, 32, 54, 67, 82, 239 multiculturalism 166 Mumbai 155, 159 Murdoch, Rupert xi Myrdal, Gunnar 150 N NAFTA 159 name branding 31, 139 nano-trading 243 Nation of Islam 291 national debt 45, 226, 227 National Health Service 115 National Labor Relations Board 120 National Security Administration 136 nationalisation 50 nationalism 7, 8, 44, 289 natural resources 58, 59, 123, 240, 241, 244, 246, 251 nature 56 alienation from 263 capital’s conception of 252 capital’s relation to 246–63 commodification of 59 domination of 247, 272 Heidegger on 59, 250 Polanyi on 58 power over 198 process-thing duality 73 and technology 92, 97, 99, 102 Nazis 151 neoclassical economists 109 neocolonialism 143, 201 neoliberal era 128 neoliberal ethic 277 neoliberalisation x, 48 neoliberalism xiii, 68, 72, 128, 134, 136, 176, 191, 234, 281 capitalism 266 consensus 23 counter-revolution 82, 129, 159, 165 political programme 199 politics 57 privatisation 235 remedies xi Nevada, housing in 77 ‘new economy’ (1990s) 144 New York City 141, 150 creativity 245 domestic labour in 196 income inequality 164 rental markets 22 social reproduction 195 Newton, Isaac 70 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) 189, 210, 284, 286, 287 Nike 31 Nkrumah, Kwame 291 ‘non-coincidence of interests’ 25 Nordic countries 165 North America deindustrialisation in 234 food grain exports 148 indigenous population and property rights 39 women in labour force 230 ‘not in my back yard’ politics 20 nuclear weapons 101 Nyere, Julius 291 O Obama, Barack 167 occupational safety and health 72 Occupy movement 280, 292 Ohlin Foundation 143 oil cartel 252 companies 77, 131 ‘Seven Sisters’ 131 embargo (1973) 124 ‘peak oil’ 251–2, 260 resources 123, 240, 257 oligarchy, oligarchs 34, 143, 165, 221, 223, 242, 245, 264, 286, 292 oligopoly 131, 136, 138 Olympic Games 237–8 oppositional movements 14, 162, 266–7 oppression 193, 266, 288, 297 Orwell, George 213 Nineteen Eighty-Four 202 overaccumulation 154 overheating 228 Owen, Robert 18, 184 Oxfam xi, 169–70 P Paine, Tom: Rights of Man 285 Paris 160 riots (1968) x patents 139, 245, 251 paternalism 165, 209 patriarchy 7 Paulson, Hank 47 pauperisation 104 Peabody, George 18 peasantry ix, 7, 107, 117, 174, 190, 193 revolts 202 pensions 134, 165, 230 rights 58, 67–8, 84, 134 people of colour: disposable populations 111 Pereire, Emile 239 pesticides 255, 258 pharmaceuticals 95, 121, 123, 136, 139 Philanthropic Colonialism 211 philanthropy 18, 128, 189, 190, 210–11, 245, 285 Philippines 115, 196 Picasso, Pablo 140–41, 187, 240 Pinochet, Augusto x Pittsburgh 150, 159, 258 planned obsolescence 74 plutocracy xi, xii, 91, 170, 173, 177, 180 Poland 152 Polanyi, Karl 56, 58, 60, 205–7, 210, 261 The Great Transformation 56–7 police 134 brutality 266 capacities and powers 43 powers xiii, 43, 52 repression 264, 280 surveillance and violence 264 violence 266, 280 police-state 203, 220 political economy xiv, 54, 58, 89, 97, 179–80, 182, 201, 206–9 liberal 204, 206, 209 political parties, incapable of mounting opposition to the power of capital xii political representation 183 pollutants 8, 246, 255 pollution 43, 57, 59, 60, 150, 250, 254, 255, 258 Pontecorvo, Gillo 288 Ponzi schemes 21, 53, 54, 243 population ageing 223, 230 disposable 108, 111, 231, 264 growth 107–8, 229, 230–31, 242, 246 Malthus’s principle 229–30 Portugal 161 post-structuralism xiii potlatch system 33 pounds sterling 46 poverty 229 anti-poverty organisations 286–7 and bourgeois reformism 167 and capital 176 chronic 286 eradication of 211 escape from 170 feminisation of 114 grants 107 and industrialisation 123 and population expansion 229 and unemployment 170, 176 US political movement denies assistance to the poor 292–3 and wealth 146, 168, 177, 218, 219, 243 world xi, 170 power accumulation of 33, 35 of capital xii, 36 class 55, 61, 88, 89, 97, 99, 110, 134, 135, 221, 279 computer 105 and currencies 46 economic 142, 143, 144 global 34, 170 the house as a sign of 15–16 of labour see under labour; of merchants 75 military 143 and money 25, 33, 36, 49, 59, 60, 62, 63, 65–6, 245, 266 monopoly see monopoly power; oligarchic 292 political 62, 143, 144, 162, 171, 219, 292 purchasing 105, 107 social 33, 35, 55, 62, 64, 294 state 42–5, 47–52, 72, 142, 155–9, 164, 209, 295 predation, predators 53, 54, 61, 67, 77, 84, 101, 109, 111, 133, 162, 198, 212, 254–5 price fixing 53, 118, 132 price gouging 132 Price, Richard 226, 227, 229 prices discount 133 equilibrium in 118 extortionate 84 food 244, 251 housing 21, 32, 77 land 77, 78, 150 low 132 market 31, 32 and marketplace anarchy 118 monopoly 31, 72, 139, 141 oil 251, 252 property 77, 78, 141, 150 supermarket 6 and value 31, 55–6 private equity firms 101, 162 private equity funds 22, 162 private property and the commons 41, 50, 57 and eradication of usufructuary rights 41 and individual appropriation 38 and monopoly power 134–5, 137 social bond between human rights and private property 39–40 and the state 47, 50, 58, 59, 146, 210 private property rights 38–42, 44, 58, 204, 252 and collective management 50 conferring the right to trade away that which is owned 39 decentralised 44 exclusionary permanent ownership rights 39 and externality effects 44 held in perpetuity 40 intellectual property rights 41 microenterprises endowed with 211 modification or abolition of the regime 14 and nature 250 over commodities and money 38 and state power 40–41, 42–3 underpinning home ownership 49 usufructuary rights 39 privatisation 23, 24, 48, 59, 60, 61, 84, 185, 235, 250, 253, 261, 262, 266 product lines 92, 107, 219, 236 production bourgeois 1 falling value of 107 immaterial 242 increase in volume and variety of 121 organised 2 and realisation 67, 79–85, 106, 107, 108, 173, 177, 179, 180, 221, 243 regional crises 151 workers’ dispossession of own means of 172 productivity 71, 91, 92, 93, 117, 118, 121, 125, 126, 132, 172, 173, 184, 185, 188, 220, 239 products, compared with commodities 25–6 profitability 92, 94, 98, 102, 103, 104, 106, 112, 116, 118, 125, 147, 184, 191–2, 240, 252, 253, 256, 257 profit(s) banking 54 as capital’s aim 92, 96, 232 and capital’s struggle against labour 64, 65 and competition 93 entrepreneurs 24, 104 falling 81, 107, 244 from commodity sales 71 and money capital 28 monopoly 93 rate of 79, 92 reinvestment in expansion 72 root of 63 spending of 15 and wage rates 172 proletarianisation 191 partial 175, 190, 191 ‘property bubble’ 21 property market boom (1920s) 239 growth of 50 property market crashes 1928 x, 21 1973 21 2008 21–2, 54, 241 property rights 39, 41, 93, 135 see also intellectual property rights; private property property values 78, 85, 234 ‘prosumers’ 237 Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph 183 Prozac 248 public goods 38 public utilities 23, 60, 118, 132 Q quantitative easing 30, 233 R R&D ix race 68, 116, 165, 166, 291 racial minorities 168 racialisation 7, 8, 62, 68 racism 8 Rand, Ayn 200 raw materials 16, 17, 148, 149, 154 Reagan, Ronald x, 72 Speech at Westminster 201 Reagan revolution 165–166 realisation, and production 67, 79–85, 106, 107, 108, 173, 177, 179, 180, 221, 243 reality contradiction between reality and appearance 4–6 social 27 Reclus, Elisée 140 regional development 151 regional volatility 154 Reich, Robert 123, 188 religion 7 religious affiliation 68 religious hatreds and discriminations 8 religious minorities 168 remittances 175 rent seeking 132–3, 142 rentiers 76, 77, 78, 89, 150, 179, 180, 241, 244, 251, 260, 261, 276 rents xii, 16–19, 22, 32, 54, 67, 77, 78, 84, 123, 179, 241 monopoly 93, 135, 141, 187, 251 repression 271, 280 autocratic 130 militarised 264 police-state 203 violent 269, 280, 297 wage 158, 274 Republican Party (US) 145, 280 Republicans (US) 167, 206 res nullius doctrine 40 research and development 94, 96, 187 ‘resource curse’ 123 resource scarcity 77 revolution, Fanon’s view of 288 revolutionary movements 202, 276 Ricardo, David 122, 244, 251 right, the ideological and political assault on the left xii; response to universal alienation 281 ‘rights of man’ 40, 59, 213 Rio de Janeiro 84 risk 17, 141, 162, 219, 240 robbery 53, 57, 60, 63, 72 robotisation 103, 119, 188, 295 Rodney, Walter 291 romantic movement 261 Roosevelt, Theodore 131, 135 Four Freedoms 201 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 213, 214 Ruhr, Germany 150 rural landscapes 160–61 Russia 154 a BRIC country 170, 228 collapse of (1989) 165 financial crisis (1998) 154, 232 indebtedness 152 local famine 124 oligarchs take natural resource wealth 165 S ‘S’ curve 225, 230–31 Saint-Simon, Claude de Rouvroy, comte de 183 sales 28, 31, 187, 236 San Francisco 150 Santiago, Chile: street battles (2006–) 185 Sao Paulo, Brazil 129, 195 savings the house as a form of saving 19, 22, 58 loss of 20, 58 private 36 protecting the value of 20 Savings and Loan Crisis (USA from 1986) 18 savings accounts 5, 6 Scandinavia 18, 85, 165 scarcity 37, 77, 200, 208, 240, 246, 260, 273 Schumpeter, Joseph 98, 276 science, and technology 95 Seattle 196 Second Empire Paris 197 Second World War x, 161, 234 Securities and Exchange Commission 120, 195 security xiii, 16, 121, 122, 165, 205, 206 economic 36, 153 food 253, 294, 296 job 273 national 157 Sen, Amartya 208–11, 281 Development as Freedom 208–9 senior citizens 168 Seoul 84 serfdom 62, 209 sexual hatreds and discriminations 8 Shanghai 153, 160 share-cropping 62 Sheffield 148, 149, 159, 258 Shenzhen, China 77 Silicon Valley 16, 143, 144, 150 silver 27–31, 33, 37, 57, 233, 238 Simon, Julian 246 Singapore 48, 123, 150, 184, 187, 203 slavery 62, 202, 206, 209, 213, 268 slums ix, 16, 175 Smith, Adam 98, 125–6, 157, 185, 201, 204 ‘invisible hand’ 141–2 The Wealth of Nations 118, 132 Smith, Neil 248 social distinction 68, 166 social inequality 34, 110, 111, 130, 171, 177, 180, 220, 223, 266 social justice 200, 266, 268, 276 social labour 53, 73, 295 alienated 64, 66, 88 and common wealth 53 creation of use values through 36 expansion of total output 232 household and communal work 296 immateriality of 37, 233 and money 25, 27, 31, 42, 55, 88, 243 productivity 239 and profit 104 and value 26, 27, 29, 104, 106, 107, 109 weakening regulatory role of 109, 110 social media 99, 136, 236–7, 278–9 social movements 162–3 social reproduction 80, 127, 182–98, 218, 219, 220, 276 social security 36, 165 social services 68 social struggles 156, 159, 165, 168 social value 26, 27, 32, 33, 55, 172, 179, 241, 244, 268, 270 socialism 215 democratic xii; ‘gas and water’ 183 socialism/communism 91, 269 socialist revolution 67 socialist totalitarianism 205 society capitalist 15, 34, 81, 243, 259 civil 92, 122, 156, 185, 189, 252 civilised 161, 167 complex 26 demolition of 56 and freedom 205–6, 210, 212 hope for a better society 218 industrial 205 information 238 market 204 post-colonial 203 pre-capitalist 55 primitive 57 radical transformation of 290 status position in 186 theocratic 62 women in 113 work-based 273 world 204 soil erosion 257 South Africa 84–5, 152, 169 apartheid 169, 202, 203 South Asia labour 108 population growth 230 software programmers and developers 115, 116 South Korea 123, 148, 150, 153 South-East Asia 107–8 crisis (1997–8) 154, 232, 241 sovereign debt crises 37 Soviet Bloc, ex-, labour in 107 Soviet Union 196, 202 see also Russia Spain xi, 51, 161 housing market crash (2007–9) 82–3 spatio-temporal fixes 151–2, 153, 154, 162 spectacle 237–8, 242, 278 speculative bubbles and busts 178 stagnation xii, 136, 161–2, 169 Stalin, Joseph 70 standard of life 23, 175 starvation 56, 124, 246, 249, 260, 265 state, the aim of 156–7 brutality 266, 280 and capital accumulation 48 and civil society 156 curbing the powers of capital as private property 47 evolution of the capitalist state 42 and externality effects 44 guardian of private property and of individual rights 42 and home ownership 49–50 interstate system 156, 157 interventionism 193, 205 legitimate use of violence 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 loss of state sovereignty xii; and money 1, 45–6, 51, 173 ‘nightwatchman’ role 42, 50 powers of 42–5, 47–52, 57–8, 65, 72, 142, 155–9, 209, 295 and private property 47, 50, 58, 59, 146, 210 provision of collective and public goods 42–3 a security and surveillance state xiii; social democratic states 85 war aims 44 state benefits 165 state regulatory agencies 101 state-finance nexus 44–5, 46–7, 142–3, 156, 233 state-private property nexus 88–9 steam engine, invention of the 3 steel industry 120, 121, 148, 188 steel production 73–4 Stiglitz, Joseph 132–4 stock market crash (1929) x Stockholm, protests in (2013) 171, 243 strikes 65, 103, 124 sub-prime mortgage crisis 50 suburbanisation 253 supply and demand 31, 33, 56, 106 supply chain 124 supply-side remedies xi supply-side theories 82, 176 surplus value 28, 40, 63, 73, 79–83, 172, 239 surveillance xiii, 94, 121, 122, 201, 220, 264, 280, 292 Sweden 166, 167 protests in (2013) 129, 293 Sweezy, Paul 136 swindlers, swindling 45, 53, 57, 239 ‘symbolic analysts’ 188 Syntagma Square, Athens 266, 280 T Tahrir Square, Cairo 266 Taipei, Taiwan 153 Taiwan 123, 150, 153 Taksim Square, Istanbul 266, 280 Tanzania 291 tariffs 137 taxation 40, 43, 47, 67, 84, 93–4, 106, 133, 150, 155, 157, 167, 168, 172, 190 Taylor, Frederick 119, 126 Taylorism 103 Tea Party faction 205, 280, 281, 292 technological evolution 95–6, 97, 101–2, 109 technological imperatives 98–101 technological innovation 94–5 technology changes involving different branches of state apparatus 93–4 communicative technologies 278–9 and competition 92–3 constraints inhibiting deployment 101 culture of 227, 271 definition 92, 248 and devaluation of commodities 234 environmental 248 generic technologies 94 hardware 92, 101 humanising 271 information 100, 147, 158, 177 military 93, 95 monetary 109 and nature 92, 97, 99, 102 organisational forms 92, 99, 101 and productivity 71 relation to nature 92 research and development 94 and science 95 software 92, 99, 101 a specialist field of business 94 and unemployment 80, 103 work and labour control 102–11 telephone companies 54, 67, 84, 278 Tennessee 148 Teresa, Mother 284 Thatcher, Margaret (later Baroness) x, 72, 214, 259 Thatcherism 165 theft 53, 60, 61, 63 Thelluson, Peter 226, 227 think tanks 143 ‘Third Italy’ 143 Third World debt crisis 240 Toffler, Alvin 237 tolls 137 Tönnies, Ferdinand 122, 125 tourism ix, 16, 140, 141, 187, 236 medical 139 toxic waste disposal 249–50, 257 trade networks 24 trade unions xii, 116, 148, 168, 176, 184, 274, 280 trade wars 154 transportation 23, 99, 132, 147–8, 150, 296 Treasury Departments 46, 156 TRIPS agreement 242 tropical rainforest 253 ‘trust-busting’ 131 trusts 135 Turin, Italy 150 Turkey 107, 123, 174, 232, 280, 293 Tuscany, Italy 150 Tutu, Archbishop Desmond 284 Twitter 236 U unemployment 37, 104, 258, 273 benefits 176 deliberately created 65, 174 high xii, 10, 176 insurance 175 and labour reserves 175, 231 and labour-saving technologies 173 long-term 108, 129 permanent 111 echnologically induced 80, 103, 173, 274 uneven geographical developments 178, 296 advanced and underserved regional economies 149–50 and anti-capitalist movements 162 asset bubbles 243 and capital’s reinvention of itself 147, 161 macroeconomic processes of 159 masking the true nature of capital 159–60 and technological forms 219 volatility in 244 United Fruit 136 United Kingdom income inequality in 169; see also Britain United Nations (UN) 285 United States aim of Tea Party faction 280 banking 158 Bill of Rights 284 Britain lends to (nineteenth century) 153 capital in (1990s) 154 Constitution 284 consumption level 194 global reserve currency 45–6 growth 232 hostility towards state interventions 167 House of Representatives 206 human rights abuses 202 imperial power 46 indebtedness of students in 194 Indian reservations 249 interstate highway system 239 jobless recoveries after recession 172–3 liberty and freedom rhetoric 200–201, 202 Midwest ‘rust belt’ 151 military expenditures 46 property market crashes x, 21–2, 50, 54, 58, 82–3 racial issues 166 Savings and Loan Crisis (from 1986) 18 social mobility 196 social reproduction 196–7 solidly capitalist 166 steel industry 120 ‘symbolic analysts’ 188 ‘trust-busting’ 131 unemployment 108 wealth distribution 167 welfare system 176 universal suffrage 183 urbanisation 151, 189, 228, 232, 239, 247, 254, 255, 261 Ure, Andrew 119 US Congress 47 US dollar 15, 30, 45–6 US Executive Branch 47 US Federal Reserve xi, 6, 30, 37, 46, 47, 49, 132, 143, 233 monetary policy 170–71 US Housing Act (1949) 18 US Treasury 47, 142, 240 use values collectively managed pool of 36 commodification of 243 commodities 15, 26, 35 common wealth 53 creation through social labour 36 and entrepreneurs 23–4 and exchange values 15, 35, 42, 44, 50, 60, 65, 88 and housing 14–19, 21–2, 23, 67 and human labour 26 infinitely varied 15 of infrastructural provision 78 loss of 58 marketisation of 243 monetisation of 243 of money 28 privatised and commodified 23 provision of 111 and revolt of the mass of the people 60 social demand for 81 usufructuary rights 39, 41, 59 usury 49, 53, 186, 194 utopianism 18, 35, 42, 51, 66, 119, 132, 183, 184, 204, 206–10, 269, 281, 282 V value(s) commodity 24, 25 failure to produce 40 housing 19, 20, 22 net 19 production and realisation of 82 production of 239 property 21 relation between money and value 27, 35 savings 20 storing 25, 26, 35 see also asset values; exchange values; social value; use values value added 79, 83 Veblen, Thorstein: Theory of the Leisure Class 274 Venezuela 123, 201 Vietnam, labour in 108 Vietnam War 290 violence 53, 57, 72, 204–5, 286 against children 193 against social movements 266 against women 193 colonial 289–90, 291 and contemporary capitalism 8 culture of 271 of dispossession 58, 59 in a dystopian world 264 and humanism 286, 289, 291 of the liberation struggle 290 militarised 292 as the only option 290–91 political 280 in pursuit of liberty and freedom 201 racialised 291 state’s legitimate use of 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 of technology 271 and wage labour 207 virtual ecological transfer 256 Volcker, Paul 37 W wages 103 basic social wage 103 falling 80, 82 for housework 115, 192–3 low xii, 114, 116, 186, 188 lower bound to wage levels 175 non-payment of 72 and profits 172 reduction in 81, 103, 104, 135, 168, 172, 176, 178 rising 178 and unskilled labour 114 wage demands 150, 274 wage levels pushed up by labour 65 wage rates 103, 116, 172, 173 wage repression 158–9 weekly 71 see also income Wall Street criticised by a congressional committee 239–40 illegalities practised by 72, 77 and Lebed 195 new information-processing technologies 100 Wall Street Crash (1929) x, 47 Wall-E (film) 271 Walmart xii, 75, 84, 103, 131 war on terror 280 wars 8, 60, 229 currency 154 defined 44 monetisation of state war-making activities 44–5 privatisation of war making 235 resource 154, 260 and state aims 44 state financing of 32, 44, 48 and technology 93 trade 154 world 154 water privatisation 235 wave theory 70 wave-particle duality 70 wealth accumulation of 33, 34, 35, 157, 205 creation of 132–3, 142, 214 disparities of 164–81 distribution of 34, 167 extraction from non-productive activities 32 global 34 the house as a sign of 15–16 levelling up of per capita wealth 171 and poverty 146, 168, 177, 218, 219, 243 redistribution of 9, 234, 235 social 35, 53, 66, 157, 164, 210, 251, 265, 266, 268 taking it from others 132–3 see also common wealth weather futures 60 Weber, Max 122, 125 Weimar Republic 30 welfare state 165, 190, 191, 208 Wells Fargo 61 West Germany 153, 154, 161 Whitehead, Alfred North 97 Wilson, Woodrow 201 Wolf, Martin 304n2 Wollstonecraft, Mary: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 285 women career versus family obligations 1–2 disposable populations 111 exploitation of 193 housework versus wage labour 114–15 oppression against 193 social struggle 168 trading of 62 violence against 193 in the workforce 108, 114, 115, 127, 174, 230 women’s rights 202, 218 workers’ rights 202 working classes and capital 80 consumer power 81 crushing organisation 81 education 183, 184 gentrified working-class neighbourhoods ix; housing 160 living conditions 292 wage repression and consumption 158–9 working hours 72, 104–5, 182, 272–5, 279 World Bank 16, 24, 100, 186, 245 World Trade Organization 138, 242 WPA programmes (1930s) 151 Wright, Frank Lloyd: Falling Water 16 Wriston, Walter 240 Y YouTube 236 Yugoslavia, former 174 Z Zola, Émile 7


pages: 183 words: 17,571

Broken Markets: A User's Guide to the Post-Finance Economy by Kevin Mellyn

banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Bretton Woods created a new international institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which pooled resources of participating countries in order to make funds available to help them make adjustments necessitated by balance-of-payment problems. The key weakness in the Bretton Woods system was that it required monetary discipline on the part of the United States, whose dollar was in effect the new gold, the anchor for all other currencies.The United Kingdom understood its role as issuer of the global reserve currency and played it well until it could no longer afford it. The US government was and is inevitably driven by domestic politics to put its reserve currency obligations in second place at best. The simple fact was (and remains) that the US government could print money without limit if it chose to, and in the 1970s it did so with a vengeance to finance a vast expansion of social spending and the Vietnam War without raising taxes.

The Bank of England can only create money in sterling, so it can’t act as lender of last resort, even to the UK banking system. In fact, only one possible lender of last resort exists in the global financial economy: the US Federal Reserve System. The problem of course is that it didn’t (and doesn’t) have the authority to do what needs to be done under any circumstances, which is exactly what a lender of last resort must do. What it does have is the global reserve currency, meaning the currency most other countries keep their surplus in and often peg their currencies against. That means that it can blow up the size of its balance sheet by buying assets from the banking system to an almost infinite degree—what is often called “printing money.” Few other central banks could do this without debasing the currency they issued, including the shiny new European Central Bank, which needed to establish its credibility.


pages: 225 words: 11,355

Financial Market Meltdown: Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis by Kevin Mellyn

asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, global reserve currency, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, long peace, margin call, market clearing, mass immigration, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, pension reform, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, pushing on a string, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, the payments system, too big to fail, value at risk, very high income, War on Poverty, Y2K, yield curve

The Fed Demystified A WORLD RESTORED: THE DOLLAR BECOMES THE NEW GOLD The Conference held at the Bretton Woods Hotel in New Hampshire during 1944 was a blend of British brain and American brawn acting to put the world economy back together. Keynes had the plan, and the United States had the money. The big idea was to turn the U.S. dollar into the global reserve currency, meaning the money that all central banks paid each other in to settle the ‘‘balance of payments’’ mismatches that always arose from cross-border trade and investment. Under the old gold standard, the global reserve currency was the British Pound but only because it was fully convertible to gold at a fixed rate. The new Bretton Woods system pegged each country’s currency to the U.S. dollar within a fixed range and in turn pegged the dollar to gold. A machinery called the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was set up to police the whole system and provide dollar loans to countries having temporary balance of payments problems.


pages: 318 words: 85,824

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

The only way ahead was to construct the right blend of state, market, and democratic institutions to guarantee peace, inclusion, well-being, and stability.9 Internationally, a new world order was constructed through the Bretton Woods agreements, and various institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and the Bank of International Settlements in Basle, were set up to help stabilize international relations. Free trade in goods was encouraged under a system of fixed exchange rates anchored by the US dollar’s convertibility into gold at a fixed price. Fixed exchange rates were incompatible with free flows of capital that had to be controlled, but the US had to allow the free flow of the dollar beyond its borders if the dollar was to function as the global reserve currency. This system existed under the umbrella protection of US military power. Only the Soviet Union and the Cold War placed limits on its global reach. A variety of social democratic, Christian democratic and dirigiste states emerged in Europe after the Second World War. The US itself turned towards a liberal democratic state form, and Japan, under the close supervision of the US, built a nominally democratic but in practice highly bureaucratic state apparatus empowered to oversee the reconstruction of that country.

It would entail reversing the monetarist course that Volcker and Greenspan have generally followed. At the least hint of such a switch away from monetarism (in effect declaring neoliberalism dead), however, central bankers everywhere would almost certainly create a run on the dollar and thus prematurely precipitate a crisis of capital flight that would be unmanageable by US financial institutions alone. The US dollar would lose all credibility as a global reserve currency and lose all the future benefits (for example of seignorage—the power to print money) of being the dominant financial power. That mantle would then be assumed either by Europe or East Asia or both (the world’s central bankers are already exhibiting a preference to hold more of their balances in euros). A more modest return to inflation may also be on the cards, for there is abundant evidence that inflation is by no means the inherent evil that monetarists describe, and that some modest relaxation of monetary targets (as Thatcher showed in the more pragmatic phases of her drive towards neoliberalization) is workable.


pages: 263 words: 80,594

Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation by Grace Blakeley

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land value tax, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transfer pricing, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

Socialist and newly-wealthy oil-producing states that wanted to hold dollar deposits without depositing them in US banks were able to put their dollars in London instead. London’s Eurodollar markets grew substantially as a result. The Eurodollar markets undermined Bretton Woods by creating a global system of unregulated capital flows.13 Those investors holding dollars — pretty much everyone, given the use of the dollar as the global reserve currency — could now deposit them into the City of London. These dollars would then be free to float around the global economy at will, unhindered by the strict regulation then imposed on US banks by the Federal Reserve. Billions of dollars had ended up in the unregulated Eurodollar markets by the 1970s, undermining Keynes’ determination to curb the hot money of the rentier class. This gave financiers in the City an almost bottomless pit of dollar reserves to play with.

Combined with dollars leaking out of the US via its growing current account deficit, the global economy was facing a dollar glut by the 1970s. Realising that there were far too many dollars in circulation to keep up the pretence, in 1971 Nixon announced that dollars would no longer be convertible to gold. Bretton Woods was finally over. Many expected a sharp devaluation of the dollar at this point, but this didn’t happen. In fact, the dollar — strong as ever — continued to be used as the global reserve currency, even in the absence of any link with gold. Finally, the real foundations Bretton Woods had been exposed: American imperial power. The gold peg established at Bretton Woods was not the source of the dollar’s value; the source of its value was a collective agreement that dollars would be used as the default global currency, much as English had by that point become the default global language.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Keynes’ idea of a neutral global currency in the form of ‘special drawing rights’, based on the value of five major currencies and managed by the IMF, was revived in 1969. But this threatened US hegemony. A more acceptable solution to the US, worked out in a series of complicated international accords between 1968 and 1973, was for the fixed exchange rate with gold to be abandoned. All the major currencies of the world would then float against the dollar. While this introduced both flexibility and volatility into the international trading system, the global reserve currency remained under US control. The effect was to displace one challenge to US hegemony by another. If the dollar was to remain strong, the US productive economy had to perform as well as, if not better than, its rivals. By the 1980s it was clear that the economies of Japan and West Germany were way ahead of the US in terms of productivity and efficiency and that there were other competitive threats lurking in the wings.

The ability of the US to launch a go-it-alone debt-financed recovery plan is limited politically by staunch conservative opposition at home as well as by the huge debt-overhang accumulated from the 1990s on. The US has been borrowing at the rate of around $2 billion a day for several years now and while the lenders – such as Chinese and other East Asian Central banks along with those of the Gulf States – have so far kept lending because the US economy is far too big to fail, the increasing power of the lenders over US policy is palpable. Meanwhile, the position of the dollar as the global reserve currency is threatened. The Chinese have resurrected Keynes’ original suggestion and urged the creation of a global currency of special drawing rights to be managed by a presumably democratised IMF (in which the Chinese would have an important voice). This threatens US financial hegemony. The end of the Cold War has also rendered military protection against the communist menace irrelevant, even as the ex-Soviet Bloc countries, along with China and Vietnam by very different paths, have become integrated into the global capitalist economic system.


pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman

Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

But it would be a mistake to see the Europeans as bit players in the creation of a globalized world. Taken as a whole the European Union single market that was put together in the mid-1980s is now the world’s largest economy—bigger than the United States or China. And for all its troubles, the euro, the European single currency, is so far the only plausible alternative to the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, communism was still a force even in Western Europe. In April 1981, in my gap year between school and university, I traveled to Paris to watch a mass rally for Georges Marchais, the French Communist Party leader, who was running in the presidential election that year. The rally was held, evocatively, in the Place de la Bastille, the birthplace of the French revolution.

There is also likely to be an attempt to take on the symbols of American economic power. Iran and Venezuela have often talked of changing the way in which oil is priced, so that it is no longer automatically quoted in dollars. This would be an important symbolic move, although its practical effect is questionable. China has also spoken with increasing urgency of the need to find an alternative global reserve currency to the dollar. Any such move is likely to be the work of many years. But China’s growing importance as a market, customer, and source of cash is already increasing its global influence. The Beijing government’s willingness to extend aid to African nations without imposing the political conditions that Western nations liked to insist on has made China a favored partner for a range of African governments from Zimbabwe to Sudan and Angola.


pages: 338 words: 104,684

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, COVID-19, Covid-19, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discrete time, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Food sovereignty, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, liquidity trap, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, urban planning, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, zero-sum game

., taking on debt) in a currency that isn’t their own.3 When a country issues its own nonconvertible (fiat) currency and only borrows in its own currency, that country has attained monetary sovereignty.4 Countries with monetary sovereignty, then, don’t have to manage their budgets as a household would. They can use their currency-issuing capacity to pursue policies aimed at maintaining a full employment economy. Sometimes, people ask me whether MMT applies to countries outside the United States. It does! Even though the US dollar is considered special because of its status as the global reserve currency, lots of other countries have the power to make their monetary systems work for their people. So, if you’re reading this book outside the USA, don’t assume there are no important lessons here for you and your country. On the contrary, MMT can be used to describe and improve the policy choices available to any country with a high degree of monetary sovereignty—the US, Japan, the UK, Australia, Canada, and many more.

In short, just as Uncle Sam’s budget deficit arises from American businesses’ and households’ desires to accumulate a surplus of US dollars, America’s trade deficit arises from the rest of the world’s desire to accumulate a surplus of US currency. The global hunger for dollars is largely why we’ve been running a trade deficit nonstop for decades. In this regard, the United States does sit in a powerful position compared to the rest of the world—for both good and ill. Thanks to the US dollar’s unique role as a global reserve currency, Uncle Sam never has to borrow in anything but his own currency (and he doesn’t even have to do that!). This gives the US something of an advantage, but it does not mean that the United States is the only country with the power to carry out its domestic policy agenda. Any country with a high degree of monetary sovereignty has the ability to pursue a domestic policy agenda aimed at keeping its economy operating at full employment.


pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

In particular, the United States began to sell its public debt abroad to sovereign investors, especially to the governments of oil-producing countries looking for opportunities to ‘recycle’ their surpluses and in return gain military protection against regional adversaries and their own peoples. In subsequent years ‘financial services’ became the most important growth industry by far in both the United States and the United Kingdom.16 After the end of the Bretton Woods monetary regime, with the dollar continuing to be the leading global reserve currency, the United States enjoyed the ‘exorbitant privilege’ (Giscard d’Estaign) of being able to indebt itself internationally in its own currency and repay its debt, if need be, by printing basically unlimited amounts of it. The rich supply of fiat dollars that ensued nourished an expanding financial industry about to turn into the financial sector of capitalism worldwide. Aggressive deregulation of financial institutions allowed for unprecedented ‘financial innovations’ that attracted capital from all over the world and became a major instrument for governments not only looking for new economic growth but also desperately seeking access to credit.

In fact, shrinking the deficit by shrinking public spending was accompanied by substantial tax cuts which, while repeatedly renewing the deficit, created pressures for more spending cuts once ‘fighting the deficit’ had been established as the supreme principle of the new regime.49 Clinton’s successor immediately squandered the Clinton surplus on tax cuts, advertised by George W. Bush during his presidential campaign in 2000 as ‘returning to citizens what is rightfully theirs’. Yet neither this nor the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq did anything to diminish the confidence of financial markets. The United States has more than one way to reassure its creditors, including its capacity to produce unlimited amounts of a global reserve currency out of thin air. That the American government nevertheless administered the bitter medicine of domestic austerity to its already anaemic welfare state in the 1990s can only have added to financial markets’ trust in its ‘full credit’, on top of the culturally established primacy of financial market obligations over citizen entitlements. Moreover, to the extent that the United States runs a deficit to finance its military and its wars, it can ask resource-rich allies to buy treasury bonds in return for protection, making it unnecessary for the latter to maintain military forces of their own.


pages: 131 words: 41,052

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century by Mark Leonard

Berlin Wall, Celtic Tiger, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, global reserve currency, invisible hand, knowledge economy, mass immigration, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, one-China policy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pension reform, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, shareholder value, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus

The big change will occur when Asian central bankers shift some of their reserves into euros, something which is very much on their agenda according to an executive at a City institution whose clients include several Asian central banks. Romano Prodi told me that when he first met the Chinese President Jiang Zemin, his Chinese interlocutor was fascinated by the euro. Apparently, his parting words were: ‘We will switch our reserves to the euro for two reasons. Why? First because we believe in multipolarity. Second, because it will be good business.’ If the euro emerges as a global reserve currency, it will give the countries of the Eurozone much greater control over their economic futures. Europe will probably not mimic the American model of using its status as one of the world’s bankers to finance a huge current account deficit, but a massive injection of capital into the European economy would undoubtedly stimulate demand. As the Nobel Prize-winner Robert Mundell argues: ‘The advent of the euro may turn out to be the most important development in international monetary arrangements since the emergence of the dollar as the dominant currency shortly after the creation of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve System, in 1913…the euro area could easily contain as many as 50 countries with a population exceeding 500 million and a GDP substantially larger than the United States within a decade.’


pages: 221 words: 46,396

The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

anti-work, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, declining real wages, eurozone crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, post-work, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck

Indeed, given the history of state relations in Europe, the rise of Nazism, and the bloodletting of the twentieth century, that was probably the only form that German hegemony could take in the early twenty-first century.33 Two further aspects of the EMU have given German hegemony its peculiar, conditional form. The first is that the EMU has not simply created a common means of exchange among its members. From its inception the euro was designed to serve an international role, not only among EMU member states but also in relation to the world market. It has always been a competitor to the dollar and other global reserve currencies, a form of what Marx called ‘world money’.34 World money is qualitatively different from national monies because it acts as a means of payment and a means of hoarding in the world market, a role that gold has historically played for centuries, and which has been assumed by the US dollar for decades. Control over world money is a lever of power at the global level, a means of hegemony on a par with military power.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

To use the trite expression, “First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us, then we win.” We’re still at the laughing-at-us stage. That’s quite all right, because by the time they get to fighting us, they’ve already lost. This technology just went global with the introduction of more than $2.5 billion from Chinese investors who discovered a counterbalance to the world domination of the global reserve currency of the US dollar. 1.5.1. Altcoins: Currencies for Everyone There are almost 200 currencies of the world, but there’s only one international currency. There are almost 200 currencies controlled by central banks and governments, but there is only one mathematical currency today, and that is bitcoin. "Cryptographic currencies are going to be a mainstay of our financial future. You cannot un-invent this technology.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The euro, the Chinese yuan, and even the Canadian dollar are all gaining attractiveness for investors who want to avoid the risk of devaluation and default as the United States wallows in self indulgence and indecision. If you compare the response by U.S. leaders to the subprime debt crisis and the response by leaders in Europe and other nations to their debt problems, the divergence in how we define the problems and the solutions is striking. It is often said that no other nation wants the job of being the global reserve currency, but as financial adviser David Kotok reflected, “this is not a job you look for. It is a job that finds you.” “The Greek crisis was a gift,” continued Kotok, who published a bullish book on the EU just before the Greek crisis exploded. He remains unrepentant and is even more bullish. “My view is that the euro will emerge battle tested from the Greek crisis. European governments are making rapid movement in favor of closing fiscal deficits.

Although America and the world could probably continue to live with the current global currency system for many years to come, the question for U.S. policymakers is whether this serves the national interest. Experience teaches that so long as American politicians believe that they can borrow to paper over fiscal deficits, they will do so. Thus dealing with the role of the dollar in the global economy ultimately is linked to fiscal and political reform in the United States. Conventional wisdom says that there is no way out of the current situation of having the dollar as the global reserve currency. A study published in June 2010 by the Council on Foreign Relations quoted Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission, on the issue of the reserve currency status of the dollar: Except for U.S. Treasuries, what can you hold? Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or United Kingdom bonds. U.S. Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option. . . .


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, old-boy network, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

“Oil’s finally coming off the two-hundred-ninety-dollar peak after the attack, but you don’t want to know how much this cruise is costing the taxpayers. Put it this way: enjoy yourselves and all this sunshine because your grandkids are still going to be paying the tab.” “They’ll be paying in ramen,” said Lieutenant Gupal, one of the ship’s newest officers. Ramen was slang for RMN, renminbi, the Chinese currency that, along with the euro, had joined the American dollar as the global reserve currency following the dollar’s post-Dhahran crash. “At least we can sail with our own oil now,” said Captain Riley. “When I joined back in the Stone Age, Middle East oil owned the market.” “True enough,” said Simmons. “And shale extraction is coming back at even higher levels than before the moratorium after the New York quake. Dhahran made people stop caring so much about groundwater seepage.”

Energy Information Administration, August 12, 2012, accessed August 16, 2014, http://www.eia.gov/countries/regions-topics.cfm?fips=wotc&trk=p3. 13 ever since Chinese special operations forces: Dean Cheng, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army and Special Operations,” Special Warfare 25, no. 3 (July–September 2012), accessed March 18, 2014, http://www.dvidshub.net/publication/issues/10629. 14 renminbi, the Chinese currency: Xinhua, “RMB to Be Global Reserve Currency by 2030: Economist,” China Daily, April 9, 2014, accessed August 19, 2014, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-04/09/content_17420923.htm. 14 “sail with our own oil”: Mark Thompson, “U.S. to Become Biggest Oil Producer — IEA,” CNN, November 12, 2012, accessed November 12, 2012, http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/12/news/economy/us-oil-production-energy/index.html?iid=HP_LN&hpt=hp_c2. 14 “heightening regional tensions”: CNN wire staff, “Obama Announces WTO Case Against China over Rare Earths,” CNN, March 13, 2012, accessed March 14, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/13/world/asia/china-rare-earths-case/index.html?


pages: 215 words: 64,460

Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics by Michael Kenny, Nick Pearce

battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, corporate governance, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, imperial preference, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Khartoum Gordon, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Nixon shock, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, trade route, Washington Consensus

The judgement that engagement in Western Europe should have been the primary focus of British economic and foreign policy in the immediate post-war years is too reliant on hindsight. Moving within the circumferences of Churchill's three circles made sense to policy-makers and remained the most viable approach available to them. Only when Britain's worldwide role had become an encumbrance it could no longer afford; when the ‘stop–go’ economic policies of maintaining a global reserve currency and pre-war trade patterns had led to relative economic decline; when the failure to invest in the modernisation of British industry had led to weakening productivity relative to the rest of the advanced capitalist world; and when decolonisation and the gradual break-up of the old Anglo-world had stripped the Commonwealth of any meaningful political or economic unity did Britain's thinking about its place in the world change.


pages: 247 words: 68,918

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The corporate state became more expensive, producing higher taxes, greater unrest and insecurity, and deeper state dependence on the bureaucracy. The wealthiest and most powerful among the merchant class fought to preserve their state-guaranteed competitive advantages by forming alliances with well-placed bureaucrats, whose role expanded into mutually profitable enforcement of an ever-expanding web of state regulations. Why the preoccupation with gold? There was no obvious alternative. The world had no internationally accepted global reserve currency. National currencies were barely exchangeable. But wherever they traveled, even among the most primitive societies, mercantilists encountered the universal human fascination with precious metals. Generally speaking, Europe’s mercantilists had two methods of increasing their stockpiles: by building a positive trade balance (more gold coming in than going out) and by conquering the lands where new reserves were discovered.


pages: 242 words: 71,943

Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity by Charles L. Marohn, Jr.

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, A Pattern Language, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, big-box store, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, global reserve currency, housing crisis, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

So why are we stuck seeing our cities as merely complicated? Why can’t our professionals, policymakers, and citizens at large grasp the complexity? Our modern development pattern – a continental-scale social experiment – was established during a period of unprecedented abundance after World War II. We were not only the sole economic superpower that wasn’t devastated by war; the biggest players in the world were indebted to us. We held the global reserve currency, we had the greatest amount of easily accessible oil and coal resources, and we had a generation of motivated young people culturally unified by shared hardship and common enemies. All the systems that launched this massive experiment, from the new financing mechanisms to the highway and infrastructure programs, were developed at a unique period of time when we could dream big and accomplish anything.


pages: 300 words: 76,638

The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Yang

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, call centre, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, falling living standards, financial deregulation, full employment, future of work, global reserve currency, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Narrative Science, new economy, passive income, performance metric, post-work, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unemployed young men, universal basic income, urban renewal, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

It’s analogous to a company giving dividends or moneys to its shareholders. No one regards that as a waste of money, because the shareholders theoretically are the owners of the company. Are we not, as the citizens of the United States, the owners of this country? As a country, we are easily wealthy enough to manage even a full UBI. Our economy has grown by more than $4 trillion in the past 10 years alone. The U.S. dollar remains the global reserve currency. We are the most technologically advanced society in human history, and increased automation will allow our economy to continue to grow well past its current level. Not only that, but we will get a lot of the money back through new businesses and economic activity, better educational outcomes, improved health and preventative care, better mental health, reduced crime and incarceration, reduced services for homelessness, and many other social benefits.


The Rise of Carry: The Dangerous Consequences of Volatility Suppression and the New Financial Order of Decaying Growth and Recurring Crisis by Tim Lee, Jamie Lee, Kevin Coldiron

active measures, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, distributed ledger, diversification, financial intermediation, Flash crash, global reserve currency, implied volatility, income inequality, inflation targeting, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, negative equity, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk/return, sharing economy, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, yield curve

However, when things do happen, when exchange rates or asset prices move against the carry trader, losses can mount suddenly and substantially. A significant part of this book is devoted to explaining these trades, particularly in the currency and the stock markets. One conclusion is that the greater liquidity and breadth of financial instruments in the US markets, as well as the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency, has placed the US markets, and specifically the S&P 500 index, at the center of the global carry trade. A further purpose of the book is to convey how carry has come to dominate the global business cycle, creating a pattern of long, steady, but unspectacular expansions punctuated by catastrophic crises. The growth of carry—the development of a “carry regime”—has had major implications for the distribution of income and wealth.


pages: 859 words: 204,092

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom by Martin Jacques

Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, credit crunch, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, lateral thinking, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, one-China policy, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

As a harbinger of the decline, and ultimate demise, of the present US-DOMINATED system, there is the prospect of the emergence over the next decade of the renminbi as a reserve currency, which would mean it could be used for trade and be held by countries as part of their reserves.180 Having acquired full convertibility against other currencies, it could rapidly assume a very important role outside China, acting as the de facto reserve currency in East Asia, marginalizing the yen, and challenging the position of the euro and ultimately the dollar as global reserve currencies.181 It is clear from the American financial meltdown in 2008 that the days when the US economy could sustain the global reserve currency are now numbered. The present international system is designed primarily to represent and promote American interests. As China’s power grows, together with that of other outsiders like India, the United States will be obliged to adapt the system and its institutions to accommodate their demands and aspirations, but, as demonstrated by the slowness of reform in the IMF and even the G8, there is great reluctance on the part of both the US and Europe.182 Fundamental to this has been the desire to retain these institutions for the promotion of Western interests and values.


pages: 297 words: 84,009

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, experimental economics, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

If Great Britain needed to fund a war or an initiative abroad, it was able to raise the money, even during a time when general levels of taxation were quite low and governments were extremely fiscally constrained. Furthermore, the fall of Britain as a world power and center of empire coincides pretty directly with the country losing its capital market heft and having to approach the International Monetary Fund to borrow money in the 1970s. The United States, by being a major financial center with a global reserve currency, can make (relatively) credible commitments abroad. When need be, America can finance a significant budget deficit; you may recall that when President Reagan “spent the Soviet Union into the ground” on military matters, he did it, for better or worse, largely with borrowed money. Because of the central financial role of New York City and other parts of the country, America has significantly more economic independence than other countries, and that translates into greater international independence.


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

No wonder the National Intelligence Council concluded recently that the “unipolar moment is over and Pax Americana—the era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945—is fast winding down.”319 Perhaps. But there is a whole lot of “on the other hand.” However large the Chinese economy, the average American makes eight times their Chinese counterpart; the American dollar remains the unchallenged global reserve currency; despite massive new investments in China’s military, the U.S. outspends its rival in defense three to one, with a global-power-defining eight hundred military bases in fifty countries around the world; ten of the world’s twenty highest-ranked universities are located in the United States;320 eight of the world’s nine largest high-tech companies are U.S.-based; the American-invented Internet is dominated by such U.S. giants as Google and Facebook and Amazon; a once-energy-dependent United States has become a major energy exporter; and last but most important, America is a democracy and China and Russia are not, and the arc of history, to rephrase Martin Luther King, bends toward freedom.321 America’s cultural hegemony is unshakable.


pages: 286 words: 82,970

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass

access to a mobile phone, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, central bank independence, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, global pandemic, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, immigration reform, invisible hand, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, open economy, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, Steven Pinker, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Certain countries (China, Japan) built up enormous dollar holdings; others, notably the United States, ran enormous deficits. To some extent this U.S. deficit was necessary, as it provided liquidity to the world; at the same time, it raised questions as to the future value of the dollar. Indeed, no progress was made on the tension arising from the U.S. dollar’s status as both the national currency of the United States and the global reserve currency, that is, the currency used for most international transactions, which required most countries to keep a store of it on hand. The U.S. Federal Reserve thus acted as both the country’s and the world’s central bank; the problem in the eyes of many resulted from the fact that the world had no oversight or control over the U.S. central bank or U.S. economic policy more broadly. Attempts to strengthen the role of other currencies or to create a new global currency (so-called special drawing rights, or SDRs, issued by the IMF came the closest) amounted to little.


Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

See, by 1971 the Vietnam War had already badly weakened the United States economically relative to its industrial rivals, and one of the ways the Nixon administration reacted to that was by simply tearing apart the Bretton Woods system, which had been set up to organize the world economy after World War II. The Bretton Woods system had made the United States the world’s banker, basically—it had established the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency fixed to gold, and it imposed conditions about no import quotas, and so on. And Nixon just tore the whole thing to shreds: he went off the gold standard, he stopped the convertibility of the dollar, he raised import duties. No other country would have had the power to do that, but Nixon did it, and that made him a lot of powerful enemies—because multinational corporations and international banks relied on that system, and they did not like it being broken down.

There have been two key reasons. The first had to do with the breakdown of the post-war world economic system, which occurred in the early 1970s. See, during the Second World War, the United States basically reorganized the world economic system and made itself into sort of the “global banker” [at the Bretton Woods United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference of 1944]—so, the U.S. dollar became the global reserve currency, it was fixed to gold, and other countries’ currencies were fixed relative to the dollar. And that system was pretty much what lay behind the very substantial economic growth rate that followed in the 1950s and Sixties. But by the 1970s, the “Bretton Woods” system had become unsustainable: the U.S. no longer was strong enough economically to remain the world’s banker, primarily because of the huge costs of financing the Vietnam War.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Fears of prosecution under wide powers for laundering money or financing terrorism have forced banks to stop dealing with counterparts in many emerging countries. One European banker joked that he feared there was an orange suit waiting for him in the US. The actions have made it difficult for immigrants or foreign workers to remit funds to the developing world, which provide critical support for families and communities. Foreign nations increasingly resent the extraordinary power enjoyed by the US through the position of the dollar as the global reserve currency, central to international finance, trade, and payments. In response, non-Americans are seeking to reduce the dominance of the US dollar. Retaliatory prosecutions of American businesses are possible. Negotiation of closer trade and financial relationships will be detrimentally affected. In 2015, the EU commenced action against Google relating to alleged abuse of its dominance of Internet search engines.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

They also tipped the military balance against the great aggressors of their ages, from Napoleon’s France, to Germany, to the Soviet Union. For all its abuses of power, the United States has been the creator and sustainer of the current order of open trade and democratic government—an order that has been benign and beneficial for the vast majority of humankind. As things change, and as America’s role changes, that order could begin to fracture. The collapse of the dollar—to the point where there was no global reserve currency—would be a problem for the world just as much as for America. And solving common problems in an era of diffusion and decentralization could turn out to be far more difficult without a superpower. Some Americans have become acutely conscious of the changing world. Business leaders are increasingly aware of the shifts taking place around the world and responding to them rapidly and unsentimentally.


pages: 363 words: 98,024

Keeping at It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government by Paul Volcker, Christine Harper

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business cycle, central bank independence, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, full employment, global reserve currency, income per capita, inflation targeting, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, margin call, money market fund, Nixon shock, Paul Samuelson, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning

Eventually, the chair asked Shultz if a resort to floating for the time being would be acceptable. His answer was that, yes, he could accept that result if it was the consensus of the group. That “temporary” arrangement essentially remains in place fifty years later. The world has been operating without an agreed monetary standard, with varying degrees of “floating” and “fixing,” and with the dollar still the global reserve currency. As I look back, the coda for the Bretton Woods composition was silently expressed at a private lunch in Paris one week later. Arthur Burns pleaded with George Shultz once again to work toward restoring a fixed exchange rate for the dollar. My instinctive comment, given that the dollar couldn’t possibly be stabilized unless we tackled our inflation problem, was “Then, you’d better get back to Washington and tighten money.”


The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer

agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, complexity theory, corporate raider, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Future of Employment, the market place, the payments system, Thomas Davenport, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

Bonds: Financial instrument sold by a borrower against periodic payment of interest and of the principal at maturity. Bretton Woods: Township in New Hampshire where the Bretton Woods Agreement was finalised in 1945 after negotiations mainly between the British and the US. The system agreed upon has also been called the dollar gold equivalence standard, because it gave the status of official global reserve currency to the US$, on condition that the US guaranteed the convertibility of dollars into gold on demand of other central banks, at a fixed rate of 535 per ounce. In August 1971, President Nixon unilaterally reneged on that latter clause by 'closing the gold window' when France and the UK requested such redemptions. This also inaugurated the era of floating exchanges in which the values of each currency and of gold would be left free to be determined by market forces.


pages: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, debt deflation, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, ending welfare as we know it, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Irish property bubble, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, savings glut, short selling, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

If the United States ever gets to the point that it cannot roll over its debt, the supposed big fear, we can safely assume that all other sovereign debt alternatives are already dead. The United States prints the reserve asset (the dollar) that all other countries need to earn in order to conduct international trade. No other country gets to do this. Regardless of ratings agency downgrades, the US dollar is still the global reserve currency, and the fact that there are no credible alternatives (the Europeans are busy self-immolating their alternative, the euro) tilts the balance even more in favor of the United States. US debt is still the most attractive horse in the glue factory, period. Second, we tend to forget that budget deficits (the increase in new debt accrued—the short-term worry that piles up and becomes “the Debt”) follow the business cycle: they are cyclical, not secular.


pages: 368 words: 32,950

How the City Really Works: The Definitive Guide to Money and Investing in London's Square Mile by Alexander Davidson

accounting loophole / creative accounting, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elliott wave, Exxon Valdez, forensic accounting, global reserve currency, high net worth, index fund, inflation targeting, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, pension reform, Piper Alpha, price stability, purchasing power parity, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Right to Buy, shareholder value, short selling, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

The market is driven mainly by speculative flows, and after that by trading from governments, central banks and companies. Foreign exchange, like derivatives, is used for hedging. There are 170 currencies in use worldwide, but most are not very liquid. The US dollar is by far the most widely traded currency, not least because the United States has the biggest and most liquid bond markets, and commodities are priced in dollars. The US dollar is the global reserve currency and an invoice currency in many contracts. However, many believe that, in 10 years’ time, the dollar will no longer have this status. The euro, introduced at the start of 1999, initially in non-physical form, has enabled eurozone member countries to trade with each other directly without the need to exchange their currencies. London was able to increase its share THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK 110 THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK 111  112 HOW THE CITY REALLY WORKS ________________________________ of foreign exchange markets because transactions in sterling no longer had to compete with those in a variety of European currencies.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, yield curve

The Labor Party dismissed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in June 2010 over disappointment about his environmental policies, and then went on to lose a parliamentary election in late August. Most of the G-20’s political leaders were envious of Kevin Rudd’s economic record, but he went down in history as the first political leader to lose office over the issue of climate change. John Greenwood offers an optimistic view of the dollar’s prospects of continuing as a global reserve currency. He reviews the process by which the dollar displaced the British pound as the dominant global currency during the early decades of the twentieth century. He then analyzes the prerequisites to be a reserve currency in the modern era. They are that the currency be widely available outside its home economy, that it be fully convertible, that it be supported by a large economy, and that it have a developed financial system.


pages: 316 words: 117,228

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Wolfgang Streeck

The key mechanism is deterrence, as explained by Gary S. Becker, “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,” Journal of Political Economy 76, no. 2 (1968):169–217. 63. Hayek, Law, Legislation, and Liberty as well as Hadfield and Weingast, “What Is Law?” 240 n ote s to c h a P te r 2 64. This phrase has been coined by French president Giscard D’Estaing in reference to the status of the US dollar as the global reserve currency and has since been used as the title of a book by Barry Eichengreen, but seems apt in this context. 65. This is the assumption of the efficient capital market hypothesis. See Eugene Fama, “Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work,” Journal of Finance 25, no. 2 (1970):383–417. 66. Ronald Gilson and Reinier Kraakman, “The Mechanisms of Market Efficiency,” Virginia Law Review 70, no. 4 (1984):549–644. 67.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

From Underwriting the United States to Financing Asia Foreign capital from the United States and Europe was a critical driver of Asia’s economic ascent during the first and second waves of East Asian growth, from Japan’s economic miracle to China’s breakneck industrialization. East Asians then lent their prodigious savings to the United States and Europe in the form of buying their Treasury bonds. Asian capital thus became a driver of the US dollar’s stability and status as a global reserve currency. China and Japan remain the two largest foreign holders of US Treasuries, with more than $1 trillion each, and Hong Kong and Taiwan also rank in the top ten with nearly $200 billion each in US dollar reserves. All of the top ten foreign holders of US dollar reserves—including Saudi Arabia, South Korea, India, and Singapore—are Asian economies, collectively holding more than 55 percent of US Treasuries.19 Furthermore, Asian foreign investment in the US economy, led by Japan, totals more than $1 trillion (compared to Europe’s $2 trillion FDI in the United States), especially in industries such as energy, manufacturing, and real estate.


Making Globalization Work by Joseph E. Stiglitz

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, capital controls, central bank independence, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil rush, open borders, open economy, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, statistical model, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

The international community has already recognized that it can provide the kind of liquidity that Keynes envisioned, in the form of special drawing rights (SDRs). SDRs are simply a kind of international money that the IMF is allowed to create.20 The global greenbacks proposal simply extends the concept. I refer to the new money as global greenbacks to emphasize that what is being created is a new global reserve currency, and to avoid confusion with the existing SDR system, which has two problems: SDRs are only created episodically, while global greenbacks would be created every year; and SDRs are given largely to the wealthiest countries of the world, while global greenbacks would be used not only to solve the world’s financial problems but also to combat some of the deeper problems facing the world today, such as global poverty and environmental degradation.21 Here is a simplified description of how the system might work.


pages: 524 words: 143,993

The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--And Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf

air freight, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fragmentation, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, very high income, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The idea was recently presented by a panel of experts commissioned by the UN Secretary General: [T]he idea of an international reserve currency issued by a supranational bank is not new. It was broached more than seventy-five years ago by John Maynard Keynes in his 1930 Treatise on Money, and refined in his Bretton Woods proposals for an International Clearing Union. There currently exist a number of alternative proposals for a new global reserve currency, for how the system might be administered, how the emissions of the new currency might be allocated, and how the transition to the new system might be managed. Considerable international discussion will be required for the international community to decide the precise arrangements. However, this is an idea whose time has come.49 Needless to say, the US will oppose this idea. Yet it is far from clear that the US benefits from being the supplier of the reserve currency.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Jeane Kirkpatrick, American ambassador to the UN during the 1980s, justified supporting autocrats because such regimes did not seek to reinvent society (as totalitarian systems do). See Kirkpatrick, “Dictatorships and Double-Standards,” Commentary, November 1979. 18. Though control over the global money supply is a key vehicle of exporting influence, the paramount status of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency is not coterminous with American monetary dominance when currencies are denationalized as they are today. See Benjamin J. Cohen, “The Geopolitics of Currencies and the Future of the International System,” University of California, Santa Barbara, Global and International Studies Program, Paper no. 10, 2003. For background on the relationship between money and territory, see Cohen, The Geography of Money (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 18. 19.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

. – those high priests of Western globalisation – calculate that there is a $20 trillion investment shortfall in infrastructure around the world, as Western countries have drastically slashed their investment budgets. Leading Chinese officials such as Justin Lin point the finger of blame for this, and for the imbalances generally, firmly at the USA. There are three reasons, the Chinese argue: lax regulation of Wall Street, super-low interest rates from 2001, and the role of the dollar as the global reserve currency. China, they point out, has trade deficits with other East Asian countries. Over the past twenty-five years, China has simply replaced Japan as the main contributor to the US trade deficit. As much as 60 per cent of China’s exports are made by foreign-owned companies, many from the USA. The iPad and iPhone are the most famous US-invented contributors to the USA–China trade deficit. So exporting China’s infrastructure boom around the world is China’s preferred route for the much-vaunted ‘global rebalancing’ agenda.


pages: 710 words: 164,527

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Charles Lindbergh, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, deindustrialization, European colonialism, facts on the ground, fiat currency, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, global reserve currency, imperial preference, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, margin call, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, New Journalism, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, psychological pricing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, seigniorage, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, the market place, trade liberalization, Works Progress Administration

“The collapse of the Bretton Woods system, which was based on the White approach,” he concluded, “indicates that the Keynesian approach may have been more farsighted.” He called on the IMF to take the lead in boosting the all-but-forgotten SDR—to make it into a true “super-sovereign reserve currency,” using the model of Keynes’s bancor.37 Xinhua, after blasting the United States for its “debt addiction” in 2011, repeated Zhou’s call for a “new, stable, and secured global reserve currency.”38 China, though a huge creditor of the United States, is, unlike the United States in the 1940s, in no position to orchestrate a Bretton Woods–type refashioning of the global monetary architecture. The United States today is hardly the supplicant Britain was in the 1940s. Britain had been bankrupted by two world wars; it could not pay for vital imports without foreign support in the form of dollars or gold.


pages: 553 words: 168,111

The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market by Leah McGrath Goodman

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, automated trading system, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, East Village, energy security, Etonian, family office, Flash crash, global reserve currency, greed is good, High speed trading, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit motive, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

Believing that this might be evidence of a possible oil drought in the future, many nations had begun to aggressively stockpile petroleum supplies, which just pushed prices up further. With the war in Iraq plodding on interminably, the credit crisis still smoldering, and an astronomical national deficit putting a drag on the U.S. dollar, oil itself was threatening to replace the greenback as the new global reserve currency—which, again, only increased energy prices. The dollar was hardly worth the paper it was printed on, some Wall Street traders were saying, but crude oil was something of intrinsic value. The world’s oil dependence had brought incalculable pain to the average consumer barely able to keep up with spiraling prices. And while it was troubling to think that traders or the government might be to blame, it was still more troubling to think it was because of an oil scarcity, as some believed.


pages: 586 words: 160,321

The Euro and the Battle of Ideas by Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James, Jean-Pierre Landau

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, diversification, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Irish property bubble, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, short selling, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, union organizing, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, yield curve

The flexible exchange rate solution, in which deficit countries would recover their competitive position by devaluing and the surplus countries would be pushed to revalue, would have challenged the whole European integration project. Global Financial System and Imbalances The US tradition thought of the international monetary system as fundamentally a given, although Americans wanted other countries, in particular surplus countries, to take on more of the task of adjustment in the existing international monetary system. In France, by contrast, there was a long-standing suspicion of the US role as issuer of the global reserve currency (that went back to General de Gaulle’s famous criticism of the US dollar). Consequently, French leaders wished that Europe could create a currency that would be more actively managed and supplant the United States’ long-lived exorbitant privilege. The US and UK view linked the inadequate European fiscal response to a long-standing debate about global financial imbalances, in which the United States had long worried about the distortions imposed on the world economy by countries running persistent current account surpluses.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Its central problem of depression-prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has been solved for many decades.”24 Gordon Brown boasted that under New Labour’s stewardship the boom-bust cycles of the UK economy had been banished. As the global economy slid into crisis, economists and analysts contemplated the D-word that dare not say its name—depression. Terrified of losing money on their vast holdings of U.S. dollars, the Chinese resuscitated Keynes’ proposal for a global reserve currency—the bancor. Dead economists were resurrected in support of political positions. Upsurge in government intervention and massive spending to stimulate demand marked the return of Keynesian economics. In 1996 Lucas told a journalist: “One cannot find good under-forty economists who identify themselves as Keynesian...people don’t take Keynesian theorizing seriously anymore: the audience start to whisper and giggle to one another.”25 After a period when free markets, the Chicago School and Friedman’s ideas dominated, Keynes was back in vogue.


pages: 812 words: 205,147

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

British Empire, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, global reserve currency, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, land reform, lone genius, megacity, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile

It had also, by this stage, created a sophisticated administration and civil service, built much of London’s docklands and come close to generating half of Britain’s trade. Its annual spending within Britain alone – around £8.5 millionj – equalled about a quarter of total British government annual expenditure.171 No wonder the Company now referred to itself as ‘the grandest society of merchants in the Universe’. Its armies were larger than those of almost all nation states and its power now encircled the globe; indeed, its shares were by now a kind of global reserve currency. As Burke wrote: ‘The Constitution of the Company began in commerce and ended in Empire;’ or rather, as one of its directors admitted, ‘an empire within an empire’.172 Nevertheless, for all its vast resources, to finance his six years of incessant warfare Wellesley had come close to bankrupting the Company, hugely increasing its annual deficits to around £2 millionk a year. The Company’s overall debt, which had stood at £17 million when Wellesley first arrived in India, was now rising towards £31.5 million.l Between 1800 and 1806, £3.9 million of silverm had to be shipped from London to Bengal to help begin repaying the enormous debts that Wellesley had run up.173 The news of the cost of the palatial new Government House in Calcutta, which Lord Wellesley had begun to build on a truly Mughal scale, was the final straw for the directors.


pages: 1,088 words: 228,743

Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, backtesting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, deglobalization, delta neutral, demand response, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, framing effect, frictionless, frictionless market, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, systematic trading, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, working-age population, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Productivity and real-growth differences, terms of trade, and current account and/or capital flow developments also matter. Yet, many of these statistical relations are weak and are hardly stable over time or across countries. I will not discuss either theories or empirical evidence on exchange rate determination further in this book, nor will I cover the role of global and local risk factors in largely integrated world markets, prospects for dollar, or alternatives to the dollar as global reserve currencies. “Timing” the carry strategy with ex ante opportunity size, seasonals, and various conditioners Ex ante opportunity If carry were the only source of expected return, the evolution of ex ante carry opportunity (signal strength) could be measured by the dispersion of deposit rates or of carry-to-volatility ratios across G10 markets. Intuitively, if yields range across countries between 0% in Japan and 10% in Australia, dispersion is higher and ex ante carry opportunity is better than if all yields are in a narrow range between 0% and 3%.


pages: 1,066 words: 273,703

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, global reserve currency, global supply chain, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open economy, paradox of thrift, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, éminence grise

With a week to go to the G20, on March 23 the Chinese central bank chairman, Zhou Xiaochuan, surprised the world by launching his own call for a new Bretton Woods.33 The Chinese had been at the original meeting in 1944 and they knew their economic history.34 As far as Zhou was concerned, it was time to revisit the fundamental decisions made in 1944. It was thanks to America’s overweening power at the end of World War II that the dollar had been established as the global reserve currency. Ever since, America had been free to spend at will while accumulating huge deficits. To ensure true stability, as John Maynard Keynes had argued for the British delegation in 1944, the world needed a global monetary unit independent of any national currency. The obvious candidate, Zhou suggested, was the IMF’s unit of accounting and credit, the Special Drawing Rights (SDR). With this in place there would be a true anchor of stability that was not at the mercy of a single superpower.