The Dollar Meltdown - A book review

Posted by Arkady K. On 1/01/2010

Charles Goyette's recent book The Dollar Meltdown is a fascinating book offering not only a thorough and comprehensive analysis of America's financial crisis but a common sense approach in how to protect yourself from the inevitable collapse of our currency.

Charles begins with an investigation of how we arrived at our current predicament and tackles the increasingly difficult task of dissecting government's role in today's complex economy.   Charles shows his Austrian influence by bringing up common themes familiar to those partial to the Austrian school of Economics, but also does a fantastic job of presenting important aspects to those readers willing to learn and familiarize themselves in the only school that was able to accurately predict the current crisis.   More importantly, Charles discusses money;  it's origins and what function money serves in today's economy.  You may think you know what money is, after all it makes the world go round, but what is it really?   Where did it come from, what makes it valuable and how can a country's currency collapse.  These are the questions that every American must be able to answer and The Dollar Meltdown does an excellent job of presenting this vital information in an easily digestible fashion.

As you begin to appreciate the gravity of the situation, Charles lays out in a eerie fashion the most likely scenario awaiting us while building a strong case for why he believes the dollar will collapse.  At this point most readers not familiar with economics or America's history of debt may begin to panic and pass out from fear, as Charles' arguments are extremely convincing.  From a long term perspective there is very little to argue about, our fiat pyramid of debt has to and will eventually collapse - the only question is of timing.  This question is crucial to properly answer as it will spell out the direction of the next several years.  While Charles attempts to answer the question with an open mind, his views can be best described as inflationist and he firmly believes that the forces in charge of our destiny will turn to the only tool available to them - currency depreciation.   Once again, in the long run this may be true, but for the time being America finds itself in a unique situation where our dollar is still the reserve currency and is still trusted around the world.  Certain technical reasons also suggest that the dollar may strengthen in the coming months not so much due to any internal policy, but the systemic failures in other parts of the world.  Still, as Charles poignantly argues our status as the reserve currency is on borrowed time (pun intended) and can change with a blink of an eye.  For this reason the book's last section presents advice valuable for every American regardless of what one's prognostication may be.

Charles is partial to value, a concept easy to grasp when you realize just how worthless the dollar can become.  Therefore common sense approaches involving gold, silver and oil are presented.  Charles makes a deliberate effort to provide options for any would be investor regardless of experience and if you are under the impression that you must build a ten ton safe and start hoarding gold ingots then you are mistaken, it is easier than you could ever imagine.  Several sections are also devoted to address other popular investment strategies like equities and treasuries and why you should think twice before you invest in these increasingly risky asset pools.  A rather amusing analogy between America's credit strength and a shady uncle constantly looking to borrow should be reprinted and distributed all over the Internet.

The Dollar Meltdown is a unique and valuable book, offering the complexities of economics in order to explain where we are and how we got here while presenting investment strategies for those people interested in taking control of their financial future.  If you prefer eating glass over reading economic text or think Wall St. is a prerequisite before making investments, then this book is a must read for you and your family.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard