Ralph Benko

Is a monetary apocalypse imminent?

James Rickards, bestselling author of Currency Wars, has a new New York Times bestseller out, about the possible imminent collapse of the dollar: The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System (Portfolio/Penguin). More interestingly, he writes about what could come next: a golden age.

Advance praise (“A terrifically interesting and useful book….”) from Brookings senior fellow Kenneth W. Dam, former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and author of The Rules of the Game: Reform and Evolution in the International Monetary System, is an attention getter. Rickard’sCurrency Wars was a hot best seller on the New York Times list, and also, more significantly, in the United States Senate.

The Death of Money is getting the attention of reviewers, James Mackintosh, investments editor of the FT, John Aziz at The Week, David Merkel at The Aleph Blog, as well as Kirkus, among the more prominent. Reviewers are respectful… but not persuaded of his claim of“Nighness of the End." As David Merkel says, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. There is evidence here, but not extraordinary proof.”

This columnist, too, is not persuaded that death of money is imminent. Reuters recently reported that a senior official of the Bank for International Settlements — sometimes referred to as the central banks’ central bank — states that “The dollar’s share of central bank reserves may fall by as much as 10-15 percentage points in coming years without threatening its role as the world’s main reserve currency….”


Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.