*Currency Wars*

The author is James Rickards and the subtitle is The Making of the Next Global Crisis.  This book is rapidly proving influential, though you will not see it reviewed in all of the major mainstream outlets.  The so-called “Right” is walking away from “1990s WSJ Op-Ed CPI bias what’s so bad about poverty anyway?” narrative and looking for alternatives.  This is one of them, excerpt:

In sum, Chaisson shows how highly complex systems such as civilizations require exponentially greater energy inputs to grow, while Tainter shows how those civilizations come to produce negative outputs in exchange for the inputs and eventually collapse.  Money serves as an input-output measure applicable to a Chaisson model because it is a form of stored energy.  Capital and currency markets are powerful complex systems nested within the larger Tainter model of civilization.  As society becomes more complex, it requires exponentially greater amounts of money for support.  At some point productivity and taxation can no longer sustain society, and elites attempt to cheat the input process with credit, leverage, debasement and other forms of pseudomoney that facilitate rent seeking over production.  These methods work for a brief period before the illusion of debt-fueled pseudogrowth is overtaken by the reality of lost wealth amid growing income inequality.

I don’t understand the monetary theory lying behind this claim, nor do I agree with the fascination with gold.  The more important point is that if you dismiss this book as “unlikely to be influential” you are not in touch with the broader intellectual currents of our time.


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