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The world currency system is riding down the road to catastrophe, says James Rickards, senior managing director of Tangent Capital Partners.
The world already has entered a currency war that began in 2010 on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s massive easing program, he tells Wall Street Journal Digital Network. Since then, plenty of nations have joined in, including Brazil, Switzerland and Japan, says Rickards, author of “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises.”
“All major central banks are easing,” he says. “Eventually so much money will be printed that this will lead to inflation. The endgame is collapse of the international monetary system — sometime sooner than later.”
In both the United States and Japan, the central banks are trying to “import inflation” to get their economies going, rather than trying to boost exports, through a weaker currency, Rickards says. “They’re scared to death of deflation. They’ve cut rates, and the last resort is to cheapen their currencies.”
When the international monetary system collapses, major financial powers will convene to plan the aftermath, he says. When that happens, each nation must have enough gold relative to its gross domestic product.
“China needs to get to 4,000 to 5,000 tons to look the United States in the eye and be an equal country,” Rickards notes.
The global economy can muddle through this year, but major problems begin in 2014, he maintains.
“The biggest risk is the rapid collapse of confidence in paper money. They can’t just keep printing. Then gold really comes to fore, whether it’s a gold standard or … gold as a reference price.”