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The Dollar Trap


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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix Preface xi PART ONE Setting the Stage 1. Prologue 3 2. What Is So Special about the Dollar? 11 PART TWO Building Blocks 3. The Paradox of Uphill Capital Flows 31 4. Emerging Markets Get Religion 47 5. The Quest for Safety 63 6. A Trillion Dollar Con Game? 89 PART THREE Inadequate Institutions 7. Currency Wars 125 8. Seeking a Truce on Currency Wars 158 9. It Takes Twenty to Tango 171 10. The Siren Song of Capital Controls 188 11. Safety Nets with Gaping Holes 201 PART FOUR Currency Competition 12. Is the Renminbi Ready for Prime Time? 229 13. Other Contenders Nipping at the Dollar's Heels 262 14. Could the Dollar Hit a Tipping Point and Sink? 283 15. Ultimate Paradox: Fragility Breeds Stability 299 Appendix 309 Notes 317 References 375 Acknowledgments 393 Index 395

About the Author

Eswar S. Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a former head of the IMF's China division.


Winner of the 2015 Gold Medal in Economics, Axiom Business Book Awards Honorable Mention for the 2015 PROSE Award in Business, Finance & Management, Association of American Publishers One of Financial Times ( Best Economics Books of 2014, chosen by Martin Wolf One of China Business News' Financial Books of the Year for 2014 "Thoughtful."--Jeff Sommer, New York Times "[A] surprising argument... [L]ucid."--David Wessel, Wall Street Journal "Richly detailed study of global finances, examining how and why the dollar became the favored currency of international trade."--Kirkus "To understand how the world of international finance works, what the agendas are and what is at stake, this work is indispensable."--Henny Sender, Financial Times "In his authoritative new book on the dollar, Eswar Prasad ... argues that China and other foreign countries that own around half the outstanding US federal government debt are trapped in a risky game where the US may be tempted to renege on its debt obligations by printing more dollars."--John Plender, Financial Times "A lively and compelling analysis on currency wars in the wake of the financial crisis--and the likely persistence of the U.S. dollar as the world's pre-eminent currency."--Harold James, Central Banking Journal "Highly recommended especially for those interested in understanding the paradigm shifts that happened in the international monetary regime in the 1970s and 1980s."--Mehmet Kerem Caban, Asian Journal of Public Affairs

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