"The Death of Money" by James Rickards (2014)
"The dollar's demise will take one of three paths. The first is world money, the SDR; the second is a gold standard, and the third is social disorder. Each of these outcomes can be foreseen, and each presents an asset-allocation strategy best able to preserve wealth."
James Rickards has written several books on world finance. He's also a portfolio manager at the West Shore Group, and has served as an advisor to the CIA.
The title of this book is somewhat misleading. The subtitle, "The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System," is more to the point. The Death of Money isn't really talking about the end of all money, everywhere, but rather the decline of the US dollar, and what this decline will mean for the world economy.
To paraphrase, the repeal of the Gold Standard, coupled with structural faults within the US economy, will lead to an economic collapse in the near future. This economic collapse will not be restricted to the US, but will ripple outward, affecting governments worldwide.
And while there's no real way to avert this catastrophe, countries and individuals throughout the world can make it less painful. On the national level, currencies backed by a sufficient amount of gold will weather the crisis better than those fixed to floating exchange rates. A transition to the IMF's SDR (Special Drawing Right) "currency" might also be an answer. Individuals can prepare for this crisis by restructuring their portfolios to contain a certain percentage of gold, and might also look into types of land acquisition less vulnerable to market fluctuations.
Whatever you do, says the author, be ready. The crash is coming any day now, and when it comes it won't be pretty.
This book reaches many of the same conclusions as The Demographic Cliff, another book reviewed here recently. But where the Demographic Cliff arrives at its conclusions from trends within world populations, The Death of Money arrives at many of the same conclusions from an analysis of world financial markets. Of the two, I'd have to say that The Death of Money is the better book, but both have important things to say, and reading them together can add a lot to either one.