Playing Monopoly with the Devil: Dollarization and Domestic Currencies in Developing Countries

(Yale University Press, 2006)

Book Forum
February 14, 2007 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST


Featuring the author, Manuel Hinds, former minister of finance of El Salvador; with comments by Steve Hanke, Professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

Poor countries should not forgo the benefits of dollarizing their economies in the name of having a currency they can call their own. Manuel Hinds, an architect of El Salvador’s dollarization, will challenge conventional thinking about monetary sovereignty and optimal currency areas. The sorry record of central banks in developing countries is not the only reason to favor the use of a hard currency. Without an internationally tradable currency, developing countries are walled off from the globalized financial system, thus raising the cost of business and increasing risk and uncertainty in the economy. Steve Hanke will discuss how the book’s insights relate to currency experiences in countries as diverse as Ecuador and Montenegro.