The World Is Curved


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What others are saying

“David Smick understands, as few do, that international finance depends on politics and passions as much as on policies. Agree or disagree, his sense of where we have been and where we are going deserves close attention. He writes in a way that makes giving close attention a pleasure.”
Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

“Smick is a world-class thinker. Any serious investor must read what he has to say.”
Barton M. Biggs, Traxis Partners

The World Is Curved is a brilliant, if disturbing, exposé of today’s global financial minefields and an equally compelling description of possible remedies. The next president would do well to read this book before taking office next year.”
Lawrence Eagleburger, former U.S. Secretary of State

“David Smick’s probing insights in The World Is Curved stem from an extraordinary vantage point few observers can match.”
George Soros, Soros Fund Management

“A vital primer about the zone where finance and statesmanship intersect.”
George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State

The World Is Curved makes transparent all the challenges facing today’s new global economy. Read along while Smick exposes the hidden global economic dangers and what steps must be taken to correct an imperfect system.”
Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator

“This is a very inspiring and intellectually stimulating book that makes remarkably transparent a number of factors behind the booms and busts of today’s global finance.”
Jean-Claude Trichet, President, European Central Bank

The World Is Curved presents a brilliant picture. It is a ‘must read’ for investors, policymakers, and anyone worried about the challenges facing today’s global financial system.”
Stan Druckenmiller, Duquesne Capital Management

“David Smick, who founded The International Economy and made it into a highly respected magazine on world economic affairs, now offers us a trenchant and timely analysis of the downside of financial globalization. Capital flows are the soft underbelly of globalization; and no one who values the enormous benefits of globalization of trade and multinational direct investments can afford to miss out on reading this important book.”
Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University, and author of In Defense of Globalization

“There are at least three reasons to read this book. First, it is an incredibly thoughtful insight into the workings of global finance, written by the ultimate insider in a highly engaging way that any reader of the New York Times could easily digest. Second, its central theme about the extreme fragility of the world economy will keep you up at night and force you to think hard about issues that are not yet out in the public. And third, it provides a realistic roadmap out of the horrendous mess we are in, one that should capture the attention of policymakers, financiers, and, yes, even the next American president.”
Jeffrey E. Garten, Yale School of Management, former undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, and former managing director, the Blackstone Group

“Lively, well-written, and insightful, The World Is Curved by David Smick probes and thoughtfully examines the strains and imbalances in the global economy and international financial markets. Smick also presents a series of innovative recommendations and observations designed to address the problems he describes, and challenges us to come to grips with them before they worsen.”
Robert Hormats, vice chairman, Goldman Sachs International

“This book is excellent. It is hard to read The World Is Curved without being concerned by recent trends. David Smick offers a thoughtful and readable analysis of globalization’s flaws and benefits. This is an important book.”
Frank C. Carlucci, former U.S. Secretary of Defense

“David Smick knows as much about world financial markets as any man alive today. In his fascinating (or maybe terrifying) book, The World Is Curved, he lays out the potential for disasters in this new intricate global financial marketplace. This book is an easy read even though it deals with unbelievably complicated (i.e., ‘curved’) subjects.”
William Seidman, chief financial commentator, CNBC, and former chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

“David Smick has identified a dangerous gap that separates the policy world and the financial world. The World Is Curved will go a long way towards bridging that gap, which is essential to ensure stability and prosperity in the global economy.”
Lee H. Hamilton, president and director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

“David Smick’s The World Is Curved couldn’t come at a better moment. I couldn’t lay the book down. It offers an unusually knowledgeable insight into the world of international finance. The World Is Curved is highly relevant to today’s situation.”
Karl Otto Pöhl, former president, Deutsche Bundesbank

“Smick’s ‘dos and don’ts’ for future economic policymakers are so readable they can be easily understood by those without economic degrees.”
Carla Hills, co-chair, Council on Foreign Relations, and former U.S. Trade Representative

“David Smick is a fascinating tour guide to the construct of our present financial system over the last three decades. He takes us from the financial salons of Europe, to the Asian bureaucratic ministries of unfathomable wealth, to the back rooms of the Washington power elites, to the chaotic trading rooms of Wall Street. It is a great read.”
Louis Bacon, Moore Capital Management

“David Smick turned The International Economy magazine into the must-read magazine on world economic affairs. He does the same with globalization in The World Is Curved. Globalization is the game changer of our time, and David Smick’s insights on global capital flows are significant. Anyone who wants to understand financial globalization and its policy implications will want to read this book.”
R. Glenn Hubbard, dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Business

“David Smick has written a first-class book on ‘possible dangers’ of globalization. I found it difficult to put it down.”
A. W. Clausen, former president, World Bank

“A timely and important analysis, The World Is Curved offers a whirlwind tour of the dynamics across the globe that are driving the gears of the world’s financial markets. Accessible and instructive for layperson and policymaker alike.”
Yoichi Funabashi, editor-in-chief, Asahi Shimbun

The World Is Curved examines the fragile international financial system and finds it rather treacherous and not easy to fix. Rather than being flat, our new globalized world is rather bumpy.”
James Schlesinger, former secretary of energy, secretary of defense, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency

“David Smick takes the reader into the inner sanctum of the global financial system as no one else can. With riveting stories, he leaves no doubt that this complex system has created huge benefits, but has left us facing grave risks. And he offers a solution.”
John B. Taylor, Stanford University

“David Smick is right: The global world is curved. We cannot foresee the precise future, especially not in crisis situations.”
Hans Tietmeyer, former president, Deutsche Bundesbank

“A worthy successor to Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat. The World Is Curved takes up where Friedman left off, lucidly explaining the vital but poorly understood role of the financial system that provides the essential underpinnings of the world economy.”
Murray Weidenbaum, Washington University in St. Louis

“The world is curved. Even a high-flying satellite can see no more than half of it at a time. But David Smick takes us to both sides—from Washington to Beijing and beyond.”
Peter B. Kenen, Princeton University

The World Is Curved makes for fascinating reading showing how politics and economics are inseparably intermingled. A bright analysis of the risk, success, and failure in today’s global financial markets.”
Otmar Issing, former member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

The World Is Curved is thoughtful, balanced, and provocative—a must-read.”
Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski, former prime minister, Peru

“A lucid, informed, and insightful interpretation of the global financial system. Readers … are guaranteed to be entertained and provoked.”
Edwin (Ted) M. Truman, former director, International Finance Division, Federal Reserve

“The consummate insider’s account of global capital markets. Truly informative and most entertaining. The World Is Curved reveals … why the next thirty years will be just as perilous as the past.”
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics

“An insightful insider’s tour of the global economy and financial system. Readers will have a big head start in diagnosing the problem and devising sensible solutions.”
Michael J. Boskin, Stanford University

“In The World Is Curved, David Smick treats us to a vision of the uncertainties in financial markets as the American Century drifts to its end.”
Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University

“Both insightful and provocative in discussing a dominant contemporary question—where do we go from here?”
Michael Steinhardt, Steinhardt Management

“Over the last thirty years, David Smick has had a unique, front-row seat at the revolution in global finance. If you want a clear explanation of what’s going on, read The World Is Curved.
Peter R. Fisher, former vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The World Is Curved is by far the nearest thing to a consummate insider’s guide to today’s financial world as can be found outside of a central bank.”
John Williamson, Peterson Institute for International Economics

“I always look forward to conversations with David Smick. He never repeats the conventional wisdom, and he always has a new and provocative take on what’s going on in our political economy. Now he’s distilled his thoughts into an important book. You’ll enjoy reading The World Is Curved, you’ll learn from it—and, most important, it really will make you think.”
William Kristol, The Weekly Standard

“Financial innovations, including those that new electronic technology makes possible, enable both firms and individuals to carry out their ordinary business more effectively and to protect themselves better from the risks to which they are inevitably exposed. But these innovations also make it possible for both firms and individuals to take on new risks to which they never would have been exposed in the first place. What are meant to be improvements therefore sometimes make people worse off, and when the risks involved are sufficiently intertwined those supposed improvements can make people worse off who never even sought to take advantage of them. In The World Is Curved, David Smick deftly offers example after example of how just this process of unintended consequences has recently unsettled the world’s financial markets, and how the process may not be over yet.”
Benjamin M. Friedman, Harvard University, author of The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth

“The world is indeed curved and I can think of no better guide to the global capital markets of the twenty-first century than David Smick. The book takes you through Smick’s personal journey over the past thirty years as an advisor to investors, hedge funds, central bankers, and policymakers. After reading this book, you will appreciate as perhaps never before the sweep of recent financial history and the risks that lie ahead.”
Richard H. Clarida, Columbia University, PIMCO, and former assistant secretary, U.S. Treasury

The World Is Curved describes today’s global financial issues in a dramatic, quasi-Beethoven style.”
Norbert Walter, Deutsche Bank Group

“David Smick is a pioneer in the globalization of real-time information. Who better to present us with the most recent and relevant information on globalization?”
Ron Insana, Insana Capital Partners, and CNBC senior analyst

“Stimulating reading, this book represents a shrewd analysis of the fragile global financial markets.”
Horst Siebert, president emeritus, Kiel Institute for World Economics

“The book defines financial globalization as a system that produces huge and scary financial dislocations, but at the same time is the cherished goose that lays the golden eggs. In the end, The World Is Curved also offers a message of hope and confidence.”
Renato Ruggiero, former director-general, World Trade Organization

“A fascinating and highly readable tour of the many complex dimensions of today’s fast-changing global landscape.”
Charles Dallara, Institute of International Finance

The World Is Curved raises important issues which need to be fully debated.”
Nigel Lawson, former chancellor of the exchequer, United Kingdom

“This truly brilliant analysis of complicated financial dilemmas which the next president will face should be required reading by those going into the White House.”
David Abshire, president, Center for the Study of the Presidency, co-founder of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and former presidential counselor

“David Smick is sounding a clarion call to reform the global financial system before protectionist pressures can undermine it—an outcome that, he warns, would be far worse than today’s instability. The World Is Curved is a fascinating, sobering analysis of why financial globalization is beneficial, what ails it today, and what changes are essential—from America to China—for ensuring its smooth operation.”
Knight Kiplinger, editor-in-chief, The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

The World Is Curved shows how sound economic policy making must be rooted in a deep understanding of markets, economics, and politics. David Smick has occupied a ring-side seat in all three areas for decades. He has written an insightful and highly entertaining account about today’s global financial system.”
Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman, Swiss National Bank

“David Smick’s new book, The World Is Curved, is immensely informed and instructive, and replete with penetrating insights. Among the latter, two examples illustrate the larger set: ‘…the job of central banking, because of the need to bolster confidence, has become an elaborate form of ‘theater,’ with the financial markets acting as the audience’; and, ‘Because of the uncertainty now surrounding the U.S. financial system, particularly in the wake of the subprime disaster, America is at risk of losing its perceived uniqueness as a trusted repository for global investment.’ As the examples suggest, Smick’s writing is not only cogent; it has the further advantage of being eminently readable.”
Charles Wolf, Jr., Senior Economic Adviser, Corporate Chair in International Economics, and Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee Rand Graduate School

“This book is both an intellectual breakthrough and a national service.”
William H. Overholt, director and Asia Policy Chair, RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

The World Is Curved is a fascinating read, offering novel insights into the working of the world economy as seen from the vantage point of a Washington insider familiar with the global economy.”
Robert Heller, former governor, Federal Reserve