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China’s growing global prominence is taking the world by storm and reshaping global finance. With the recent rise in the renminbi, China's currency since 1949, China’s international influence has expanded, and its currency could someday rival the euro and the Japanese yen. In a Chats in the Stacks book talk given at Mann Library in February 2017, Eswar Prasad, one of the world's leading experts on international finance and the Chinese economy, presents his new book, Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi, examining the rise of the renminbi and its implications for global finance today.
Starting with a brief look at the deep history of currency development in China, Prasad examines the important role that China’s expanding prosperity and targeted government policy have secured for the renminbi in the world’s global economy. However, as Prasad convincingly argues, the lagging alignment between China’s economic reforms of the past decades and the country’s political and legal institutions signifies an important truth: While the renminbi’s position in the world economy is likely to continue growing in coming years, it does not pose a serious challenge to the U.S. dollar’s dominance.
Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences CALS and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He holds the New Century Chair in International Economics at the Brookings Institution and is research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.