Tuesday, October 18, 2011

KUT Austin :: Greenback Planet

Greenback Planet
By H. W. Brands
Buy It Now
Brands’ Portrait of the Dollar
By Emily Donahue

Since 2008, U.S. lawmakers and many abroad have argued the Federal Reserve’s handling of the recession and the debt crisis threatened a grossly weakened dollar and runaway inflation. If the Fed repeats failed policy of the past, they’ve argued, America’s economy and the dollar’s status could be in jeopardy.

H.W. Brands knows those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. In his new book, “Greenback Planet,” the U.T. historian shows how lessons throughout America’s history influence monetary policy to this day.

The U.S. economy is diminishing as a portion of the world economy. If the dollar is no longer the global benchmark, as it has been for the past 70 years, one single currency may not take its place. Instead, Brands hypothesizes, multiple currencies will work in concert with each other. It’s worked in the past, such as in the 19th century, when no one currency dominated the word markets.

Analysts speculate that an economic collapse could result, but Brands says it is unlikely. But, he says, Americans will see the effects of foreign investors deciding to put their money elsewhere.

Read more and listen to the KUT interview with H. W. Brands  »

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