NEWS arrow Money, Markets, and Sovereignty

Money, Markets, and Sovereignty

Written by Benn Steil & Manuel Hinds

A CFR Book by Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics & Manuel Hinds, Former Salvadoran Finance Minister


In this keenly argued book, Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds offer the most powerful defense 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.

"A revelatory historical essay ... a timely and original contribution."
-Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and author

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, thinking that is increasingly under threat by more recent ideas about what sovereignty means.

Reviews & Endorsements

"Stimulating reading. Thoughtful and well written, bringing new perspectives."
-Otmar Issing, first chief economist, European Central Bank

"Money, Markets, and Sovereignty offers an unusually wide-ranging and historically informed examination of contemporary controversies over globalization, and provides a searching exploration of the tensions between money as an emblem of national sovereignty and its role as a fundamental tool of individual choice."
-Jerry Z. Muller, author of The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought

"This book is an important analysis of the roles of money and sovereignty in advancing globalization and its positive effects on living standards. Particularly in this era of political skepticism over gains from globalization, Steil and Hinds have written an essential text for our new leaders and those who advise them."
-Glenn Hubbard, dean and Russell L. Carson professor of finance and economics, Columbia Business School

"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

"Money, Markets, and Sovereignty presents an extremely valuable and timely examination of the pros and cons of modern globalization, set against a background of illuminating historical precedents and debates."
-William H. Donaldson, twenty-seventh chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Author

Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and founding editor of the journal International Finance. He is the coauthor of Financial Statecraft, published by Yale University Press. He lives in New York City.

Manuel Hinds is a business and government consultant and former Council on Foreign Relations fellow. 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. He lives in San Salvador.

CFR site reference

Last Updated Thursday, 19 March 2009


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