Money, Markets, and Sovereignty Benn Steil, Manuel Hinds

Series:
Council on Foreign Relations Books
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
03 Mar 2009
ISBN:
9780300149241
Dimensions:
256 pages: 234 x 156 x 28mm
Illustrations:
50 black-&-white illustrations

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In this keenly argued book, Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds offer the most powerful defence of economic liberalism since F. A. Hayek published "The Road to Serfdom" more than sixty years ago. The authors present a fascinating intellectual history of monetary nationalism from the ancient world to the present and explore why, in its modern incarnation, it represents the single greatest threat to globalization. Steil and Hinds describe the current state of international economic relations as both unusual and precarious. Eras of economic protectionism have historically coincided with monetary nationalism, while eras of liberal trade have been accompanied by a universal monetary standard. But today, the authors show, an unprecedentedly liberal global trade regime operates side by side with the most extreme doctrine of monetary nationalism ever contrived - a situation bound to trigger periodic crises.Steil and Hinds call for a revival of the political and economic thinking that underlay earlier great periods of globalization, and which is increasingly under threat by more recent ideas about what sovereignty means.

Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics, Council on Foreign Relations, and founding editor of the journal International Finance. He is the author of Financial Statecraft, published by Yale University Press. Manuel Hinds is a business and government consultant and former fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. He has twice served as minister of finance in El Salvador. He is the author of Playing Monopoly with the Devil, published by Yale University Press.

"Steil and Hinds have written a revelatory historical essay on the relationship between money and the state, emphasizing that from the very origins of coinage, rulers sought to establish and exploit monopolies over currencies. This, more than anything else, helps to explain the many inflations and other monetary disruptions in history. At a time when a global financial crisis is revealing the limits of state control over the money that banks create, this is a timely and original contribution." -Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University, and author of The Ascent of Money