Publication: Currencies of Power and the Power of Currencies
30 September 2012
When one increases the scale of a complex system the risk of collapse rises even faster. This is not speculation, it is sound theoretical science. Unless society takes immediate steps to reduce the scale of today’s complex capital markets by breaking up banks and banning derivatives it faces a catastrophic collapse on a par with the Bronze Age or Ancient Rome.
Unknown to most observers is that the financial dangers of 2008 have not gone away, in fact, the situation is worse. The biggest banks are even bigger with a larger share of total bank assets. The taxpayers bailed out the system in 2008 and got nothing in return except the prospect of having to do it again. If the system is riskier and more dangerous than it was in 2008, where will the next collapse begin? What domino will cause the other dominoes to fall? A survey of the big three currency areas – Europe, China and the United States – provides a foundation for understanding why real risks remain and a new catastrophe is looming.
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James Rickards is the author of the national bestseller, Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis and a Partner in JAC Capital Advisors, a hedge fund based in New York. He is a counselor and investment advisor and has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, CNN, BBC and NPR and is an Op-Ed contributor to the Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post. Mr Rickards is a visiting lecturer at Northwestern and the School of Advanced International Studies, has delivered papers on risk at Singularity University, the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory and has written numerous articles on risk management. He is an advisor on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence. Mr Rickards holds an LLM (Taxation) from the NYU School of Law; a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; an MA in economics from SAIS and a BA from Johns Hopkins.