Eswar Prasad on "The Dollar Trap: How the US Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance"

Eswar Prasad on \

Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

The US dollar's dominance seems under threat. The near collapse of the US financial system in 2008-2009, political paralysis that has blocked effective policymaking and emerging competitors such as the Chinese renminbi have heightened speculation about the dollar's looming displacement as the main reserve currency. Yet, as The Dollar Trap powerfully argues, the financial crisis, a dysfunctional international monetary system and US policies have paradoxically strengthened the dollar's importance.

Eswar Prasad examines how the dollar came to have a central role in the world economy and demonstrates that it will remain the cornerstone of global finance for the foreseeable future. Marshaling a range of arguments and data, and drawing on the latest research, Prasad shows why it will be difficult to dislodge the dollar-centric system. With vast amounts of foreign financial capital locked up in dollar assets, including U.S. government securities, other countries now have a strong incentive to prevent a dollar crash. The Dollar Trap offers a panoramic analysis of the fragile state of global finance and makes a compelling case that, despite all its flaws, the dollar will remain the ultimate safe-haven currency.

About the Author
Eswar S. Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a former head of the IMF's China division.

Talk will be followed by Q&A and book signing. $5 tickets may be purchased online or at the door and include Museum admission. Museum members and students are admitted free of charge. Feel free to bring your lunch. Register online, or contact Tempris Small at for more information.