The Curse of Cash: How Large Denomination Bills Aid Crime and Tax Evasion and Constrain Monetary Policy
by Kenneth Rogoff
The world is drowning in cash—and it’s making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the world’s leading economists, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.
Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.
As Rogoff shows, paper money can also cripple monetary policy. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, central banks have been unable to stimulate growth and inflation by cutting interest rates significantly below zero for fear that it would drive investors to abandon treasury bills and stockpile cash. This constraint has paralyzed monetary policy in virtually every advanced economy, and is likely to be a recurring problem in the future.
The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money—while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely—and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor.
While phasing out the bulk of paper money will hardly solve the world’s problems, it would be a significant step toward addressing a surprising number of very big ones. Provocative, engaging, and backed by compelling original arguments and evidence, The Curse of Cash is certain to spark widespread debate.
This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff
"A Masterpiece" Martin Wolf. Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Published at the outset of the 2009 finanical crises, a key insight was that recessiions that follow deep systemic financial crsies tends to be much deeper than normal recessions, and the recoveries far slower and more painful
Foundations of International Macroeconomics
Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff
Foundations of International Macroeconomics is an innovative treatise that offers the first integrative modern treatment of the core issues in open economy macroeconomics and finance. With its clear and accessible style, it is suitable for first-year graduate macroeconomics courses as well as graduate courses in international macroeconomics and finance. It is also widely used and cited by researchers in the field. Each chapter incorporates an extensive and eclectic array of empirical evidence. For the beginning student, these examples provide motivation and aid in understanding the practical value of the economic models developed. For advanced researchers, they highlight key insights and conundrums in the field.