If you liked “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis as much as I did, then the chances are that you will appreciate “The Death of Money” by James Rickards even more. The book was published in April 2014. It helps you begin to understand the interconnectedness of world currencies. While “The Big Short” was a retrospective look at the 2008 stock-market crash, “The Death of Money” is a prediction of what is likely to happen. The author’s conclusions are based not only on his expertise on world currencies but on vast amounts of data.
Just to scratch the surface of how fascinating this book is, the author starts out with an analysis of “Was 9/11 preventable?” He looks at the stock-trading data of American and United Airlines – whose aircrafts were used as weapons by the terrorists – leading up to 9/11 and, voilà, he eventually finds a pattern. In the beginning, it’s hardly noticeable at all. He calls these almost undetectable events “snowflakes.” The snowflakes nonetheless begin to have a ripple effect, eventually mushrooming to a large-enough size where traders around the world notice an uptick in activities. They, too, jump in the bandwagon. Except for the snowflakes, those later participants have nothing to do with the terrorists at all. The author’s hypothesis was that by backtracking those heavier-than-usual trades, and pinpointing when and where it originated, it helps create a mathematical model. Such a model, in turn, can help predict when the next major terrorist attacks are likely to happen and, most importantly, helps prevent them from happening in the first place. You see, some of the terrorists’ inner-circle members cannot help themselves but profit from the impending attacks using insider knowledge.
Based on the above discovery, a project was established to keep an eye out on trades on certain stocks, whose products are likely to be used by terrorists. One day, a “blip” was noticed. Those involved in this project traced back the original trade, location, and date. Making a long story short, another terrorist attack within days thereafter coincided with the date of the original trade. This proved the author’s hypothesis on how to prevent another major attack.
On what did the author base his hypothesis? Human nature. To that, I say, “Spot on!” In this case, greed by those who are aware of suicide missions about to be carried out by their comrades. To profit, they initiate a trade (placing put options) right before the attack.
Separately, the author explains the history and role of the International Monetary Fund and the likelihood of IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) replacing the U.S. dollar as the international currency. Here, again, he explains in depth as to why; i.e., most notably, the international political forces. Some countries are already opting to be independent of U.S. dollars in their trades to avoid detection of their activities by the U.S.
Among many other currency-related topics, the author also explains why the Fed wants inflation and NOT deflation. I cannot do justice to all that you can learn from reading “The Death of Money” yourself. It will help open your eyes to what is really going on in the world – things and events about which you hardly hear in the news. It is highly likely that I will read this book once again.
Throughout the entire book, all I kept thinking was, “Thank goodness we no longer have any money invested in the stock market.” My decision to invest outside of Wall Street was made years before “The Death of Money” was published. My actions were based purely on my own survival instinct with little understanding of the intricacies of world currencies. All I can say is that, if and when the U.S. dollar does collapse, as the author predicts it will, I believe I’m prepared (at least somewhat) because of the actions I felt compelled to take after the stock-market crash of 2000.