The Death of Money – Book Review – Collapse of the International Monetary System

deathofmoneyTrojan Horses are always sure to show up in an war, even an information war, and they are coming in some very creative ways these days. Today I read “The Death of Money – The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System,” by James Rickards. What I expected was a very organized approach to our very complicated world financial system, and a very clear conclusion that the world is in for some big trouble. Eventually Mr. Rickards gets into quite a lot of that, but on page 27 he felt the need to explain to all of us apparent retards that the 9/11 Truth Movement (he actually calls it that) and any criticism of 9/11 is “nonsense” and a disservice to not only to the people actually killed, but also to the people who were only injured, and the military personnel who were killed (and presumably injured) in the resulting wars.

“The hard evidence that the attacks were planned and executed by Al Qaeda is irrefutable. The 9/11 Commission Report is a monumental and exellent summary, a brilliant work of history despite the inevitable flaws that arise in such a wide-ranging effort… yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Rickards then goes on to explain that he was at the center of the insider trading investigations post 9/11, and that the fact that insider trading did for sure occur with the stocks of both American and United Airlines in the days before the attack somehow proves that the official accounts of the attack must be true. Forget about the fact that the 9/11 Commission Report didn’t even address the third building that fell straight down through the path of greatest resistance at free fall speed that day. You know, the building everyone giggles about when they make fun of “conspiracy theorists,” the now famous Building 7, which was not hit by an airplane. Also he might note that it was the surviving families of the victims that started the 9/11 Truther movement. And don’t forget that famous denial from the NIST official that there was molten metal found at the base of the twin towers weeks after the attack, when we all saw the liquid metal running down the beams, in violation of yet many more simple principles of physics. Please watch the full documentary from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth if you have no idea what these things mean. If this book is just an innocent, and not an actual intentional Trojan horse, Rickards should too. If you find that concentrating on something for more than a few minutes is difficult. They also have some shortened versions you could check out.

Sorry for what seems to be an aside in what you thought was a review of a financial book, but it is what it is. Why would the author include a 9/11 Truther discussion in a book meant to explain the fragility of the world financial system? If you look in the dust jacket bio of Rickards you’ll find the answer. He is an adviser to the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community, and he was a facilitator for the first ever financial war games conducted by the Pentagon. This guy is an insider among insiders, and this book is pure propaganda to manage the PR problem currently facing our national economy, and subsequently the financial future of the entire world.

The book meanders on for some time after that to explain that Rickards helped design a system to monitor unusual trades in the stock market exchanges, and that his project was eventually diverted from CIA to Department of Defense, because CIA felt that if the public found out that they were spying on their trades, it would make them look bad. Post 9/11, in the interest of “national security,” DoD apparently had no such qualms.

That is where the scary stuff really starts, because we begin to see how the coming financial collapse will be spun once it happens. Rickards envisions a future war of automated trades meant to trigger a panic. He even has a chapter subhead entitled “The Enemy Hedge Fund Scenario.” Then he goes on to devote dozens of pages explaining how Iran has circumnavigated all of the financial sanctions we have placed on them, and how they have used Iran, China and India, oh and of course Dubai, the crafty rich Arabs, to make behind the system deals. He fails to note Iran was right next to Iraq when we decimated their country with trade sanctions during the 90s, then went back in and took over the country because we felt like it post 9/11. Iran prepared themselves a little better than Iraq when they saw America coming. How dare they right?

Rickerts really rattles the sabers to build a case that Iran and especially China are poised to exploit the weaknesses in our automated trading system. But no fear, all of you mostly upper middle class white people who will buy this book, the book goes on to explain later that China is a paper tiger in its own heap of trouble.

By the 80 page mark, Rickards begins the nuts and bolts preaching to the choir of people who bought the book. Because, like me, most of them already know how the Federal Reserve works, and that the Federal Reserve has been printing money to buy up government debt in the form of Treasury Bonds for some time now, and that this historically is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t know these basics, along with some of the history of national financial troubles in the U.S., the book is a great read to learn about a lot of this history and how events played out to band-aid our economy to where we are today.

One thing that I thought the book was missing, but that was no big surprise was the complete absence of any mention that there have been several recent attempts by Ron Paul and others to have the Federal Reserve audited nough political clout to escape being forced to show their books to the American people who trust this private bank to print all of our money. The Fed is a private cartel of banks that are in the business of profit, both short and long term. It isn’t that we have to believe that The Fed is up to dastardly intents. We the people deserve a financial accounting of their actions. Simple, and to date refused.

A brief history of China is probably the biggest surprise in the book. But I would say that from a PR standpoint, it was the reason that the book was written in the first place. Rickards explains that China has always flummoxed between centralized control and regional warlord control. This “fact” is the pillar upon which Rickards systematically attacks China as a world financial power, one that we need not be concerned about because they are facing their own collapse. Rickards wants you to think of China as just a bunch of warring clans looking out only for themselves, ultimately undermining national interests with personal ones. It is just a smoke screen that plays on our own prejudices and movie memories of China. Think about Barbara Boxer telling the public that an increase in personal firearm ownership will cause a new “old west” in our streets, despite the fact that she knows it never has. Rickards is trying to do the same thing here. China isn’t really a threat, he argues. They are too busy sending their black suited ninjas over to kill each other and rob the country of its long term goals. It paints a picture, but if you really look at China’s history, they have never ceased in their goal for world hegemony, and they are a very patient people.

These are some of the points:

  • A failed monk once convinced everyone he was the brother of Jesus, and started a small civil war that killed 20 million people – Therefore the central government is obsessed with crushing any rebellion, but the migrant workers are going to start a huge rebellion anyway with 4G using Twitter. No bullshit he really says this on page 92.
  • Workers can only use one machine at a time, so China will definitely be seeing slower growth. – This is an answer to the claim that China will use automation to replace the cheap labor it will lose due to an increased quality of living of its citizens, and the aging populace that has been the result of China’s one child policy.
  • China can only steal technology. They can’t invent anything. – Therefore… sorry no real conclusions. It just makes so much sense on its own that it is supposed to leave you thoughtless, so you don’t remember that American engineers can’t get jobs here, so…
  • China has invested too much in infrastructure and housing that is currently going unused in its major cities. – This is supposed to convince us that China’s historical propensity for investment and savings among its people is somehow missing the point, and that they should be more like us and focus on consumption to improve their GDP ratios. I am trying to type this with a straight face but it is difficult. We make nothing in America anymore. Our industrial cities from Pittsburg to Detroit lay in ruins. Inner city unemployment is so bad that EBT cards are the only reason we don’t see food lines. National labor force participation is at an all time low. Yet this very smart guy thinks we are stupid enough to still believe that a nation should try to spend their way to prosperity, because it is just working so well for us. He actually uses the term “infrastructure addiction” to describe the Chinese.
  • Chinese billionaires are sneaky cash out of the country. – This is supposed to make us believe that China is implementing strict “capital controls” to protect its economy by restricting cash leaving the country to $50,000. In the U.S. you aren’t supposed to leave with more than $10,000, and international banks, as of July 1st, 2014, are required to report your holdings of over $10,000 to the IRS. International wire transfers have all but gone the way of the Condor as well, but for us its in the interest of “national security,” not capital controls like those sneaky Chinese commies.
  • The “financial warlords” are just bleeding the country dry. – Well that isn’t as bad as when he calls Russia a scam to sell off natural resources. No, don’t worry he doesn’t give any specific information about any of these warlords, except that one apparently owns a brewery. Silly facts are just more blah blah blah for you to read, so lets all just take his word for it that China is about to tank.

Next Rickert goes on yet another historical excursion about Germany that leads to a full blown cheerleader routine for the Euro. Read between the lines, and it looks to me like a roadmap for how they intend to manage the crisis. Despite the fact that Europe is as broke as we are, if you take this book in a prophetic sense, the U.S. dollar will be the sacrificial lamb, and the world will flock to the Euro, as well as an international currency issued by the International Monetary Fund called the SDR.

No, SDR doesn’t stand for Franklin’s long lost brother Stan. It stands for “Special Drawing Rights.” The IMF issues this is a non-denominational defacto currency that can be used just like a government sponsored currency. An SDR currently consists of a “basket” of currencies that fluctuates in percentage. I believe that the book is trying to prophetically argue that the SDR is our future, because mainstream economists like Rickert will get on board, and if you think about the talking heads on network news, they will love the idea that “no country controls the world economy.” The basket is the answer.

Step back and look at the potential plan through the eyes of the book. The dollar will crash. The Euro, despite its bankrupt sponge of supporting countries, will continue to be artificially propped up. The IMF will rush in to aid international traders in things like oil to convert their unwanted dollars into usable currency by swapping the dollars for SDRs, which are only partially based on the dollar. Of course in this plan the Chinese currency will become more important, as it will be a large part of the new basket. But the public will be eased into the idea of Chinese global financial influence because who isn’t afraid of China right?

The title of book would lead you to believe that the purpose of writing it was to unravel the world financial system for the reader, but I believe it is more about the Chinese than anything else. The Chinese, the book argues, are not capable of substituting their Yuan currency for the dollar as a national reserve currency now or in the near future. Rickards’ reason for this is that there is no place to invest the Yuan once you have it. There is no bond market denominated in Yuan (or the new name Renimbi), so you can’t buy other people’s debt and earn a return on your cash. Therefore the international SDR currency has to be built up into a bond market, so that it can properly rescue the world.

Rickards explains that this sounds a little “new world order,” so right now from a political perspective building up the SDR might be difficult. If you look back into the book, Rickards makes a really good case that the IMF has representation from every strong nation in the world. He sells the concept not as one world government with one world central bank. The IMF is a central and impartial force representing the interest of all the people’s of the world. A lot of work went into this book. As the collapse is happening around us (see video below), the seeds are already in the works and the deals have been made.

Much of this book is spent trying to convince you that the author is on your team. People are waking up, and they want more information about some of the vague details they hear about on Youtube videos about a coming financial collapse. This book gives you a ton of that. It explains the way money is created, how our currency went from gold backed to “fiat,” and what that actually means. Rickards also jumps on the gold bandwagon and explains that the central banks of the entire world have been buying gold like it is going out of style since the mid 2000s. He even admits to gold price manipulation, but interestingly he doesn’t seem that interested in building an elaborate spying system to extract exactly how that happens, like he did to “catch potential terrorists” post 9/11 (pssst – his system was really meant to make sure his banker friends didn’t lose their bonuses). And Rickerts even devotes a good deal of space to how China has most likely built up its gold reserves to at least match the U.S. in gold to GDP ratio. The end of the book is actually pretty good with what to look for once a collapse and hyper inflation is imminent.

My takeaway, besides the fact that the book is really just a PR spin, is that classic economic theory has no idea which way we will turn from here, but they are trying to make it crash gracefully. At least a dozen times Rickerts pounds it home that we must avoid “deflation” at all costs. He explains why lower prices lead to a downward spiral, and that inflation is our only way out of our mess. This is classic Keynes economics. If we devalue our currency by printing more and more of it, prices of things should rise. They have risen, as you know, but our government wrangled the computation of inflation for so long that it is nearly impossible to show any “on the books” inflation today. And like when you overcompensate for a skid in your car, the car starts spinning the other way, this unprecedented glut of money that has been borrowed into existence could lead to hyper inflation.

But on the other hand it may not work at all. He wouldn’t be drilling bad deflation bad deflation into us if we were really headed for the cliff of spiraling prices. Our complete loss of manufacturing and entrepreneurship in the U.S. has cost us dearly. Is a new international quasi “gold standard” the answer? The book asks that question. But even though the book is clearly meant to shape the sheeple into a certain mindset, even Rickerts by the end is forced to admit that it really could go either way, at any time. On the street, we’re all seeing a huge spike in required commodities like food and fuel, while the rest of the economy remains stagnant, or in a decline. This week the government had to admit a 2.9% fall in GDP for first quarter 2014. Consumer spending is crashing. Retail, which is 70% of our national economy, is in the toilet. Could we be facing an entirely new animal of hyper inflation for necessities and deflation for all the crap we don’t really need anyway? I’d sell the Jetski now if you already lost your job.

Buy the book if you don’t know anything about the Federal Reserve and you want to learn a lot of interesting history and background information, including why there are things called “BRICS nations” and G20s and what not. But don’t look to this book as a prophesy. Rickards tells you what they want to happen. Nationalist movements in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and several other countries of late could turn everything on its ear and make them come up with a whole new plan. Either way, we appear to be in big trouble, and even the mainstream is jumping on the bandwagon. Let’s all hope it works out for the better.

If you want to keep up with some of the daily news in the financial markets, boiled down into easy to digest chunks that actually make sense, check out Gregory Mannarino’s Youtube channel. He is just a trader who puts out free stock tips based on an artificially inflated fiat financial system. Great stuff.

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  • dan June 30, 2014, 10:09 am

    thanx for the candid review; I will be sure not to buy it or even pick it up if I see it. Sounds pretty opinionated with a lot of false statements.

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