Cover of Currency Wars (Taiwanese version)
|Language||Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Polish French|
|Media type||Hardcover, paperback|
Currency Wars (simplified Chinese: 货币战争; traditional Chinese: 貨幣戰爭; pinyin: Huòbì zhànzhēng) by Song Hongbing, also known as The Currency War, is a bestseller in China, reportedly selling over 200,000 copies in addition to an estimated 400,000 pirated copies in circulation and is reportedly being read by many senior level government and business leaders in China. Originally published in 2007 the book gained a resurgence in 2009 and is seen as a prominent exponent of a recently emerged genre labeled "economic nationalist" literature. Another bestselling book within this genre is Unhappy China, however, unlike this and other books within this genre, Currency Wars has been received more positively by the Chinese leadership as its recommendations are seen as less aggressive towards the US. The premise of this book is that Western countries are ultimately controlled by a group of private banks, which, according to the book, runs their central banks. This book uses the claim that the Federal Reserve is a private body to support its role. The book's author correctly predicted a banking crisis in the US in 2008. More than one million copies of this book have been sold.
In July 2009, the book was followed by a sequel, Currency Wars 2: World of Gold Privilege (Chinese: 货币战争2：金权天下), published by China Industry and Commerce Publishing House (ISBN 978-9573265214), which The Financial Times reported as being one of the most popular books in China by late 2009. More than two million copies have been sold. In this book, Song predicted that by 2024, the world's single currency system will mature. He believes that if China can not be dominant in this system, it should not participate, but should be self-hill, have their own sphere of financial influence. This last topic is much more developed in the second sequel.
In May 2011, Currency Wars 3: Financial High Frontier (Chinese: 货币战争3：金融高边疆), a second sequel was published by Yuan-Liou Publishing (ISBN 978-9573267843). It discuss more specifically the modern Chinese History (from Chiang Kai-shek to the depreciation in the long term trend of U.S. dollar) seen from a Currency War perspective. It pushes towards an isolationist financial policy.
According to the book, the western countries in general and the US in particular are controlled by a clique of international bankers, which use currency manipulation (hence the title) to gain wealth by first loaning money in USD to developing nations and then shorting their currency. The Japanese Lost decade, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the Latin American financial crisis and others are attributed to this cause. It also claims that the Rothschild Family has the wealth of 5 trillion dollars whereas Bill Gates only has 40 billion dollars.
Song also is of the opinion that the famous U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, is not a department of state functions, but several private banks operated by the private sector, and that these private banks are loyal to the ubiquitous Rothschild family.
On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy signed an executive order, which, as an amendment to Executive Order 10289, delegated the authority to issue silver certificates (notes convertible to silver on demand) to the Secretary of the Treasury. Song says the direct consequence was that the Federal Reserve lost its monopoly to control money.
The book looks back at history and argues that fiat currency itself is a conspiracy; it sees in the abolition of representative currency and the installment of fiat currency a struggle between the "banking clique" and the governments of the western nations, ending in the victory of the former. It advises the Chinese government to keep a vigilant eye on China's currency and instate a representative currency. The book, published in 2007, also correctly described and warned of the various forms of derivative speculation used by Wall Street which eventually became the causes of massive margin call sell offs and stock market crash in late 2008..
The book has achieved bestseller status in China. Although acknowledging the book's huge popularity in China, the Financial Times described it as only passably entertaining and its thesis as far-fetched. Fred Hu, managing director of Goldman Sachs Group, said the currency wars were "non-existent". He uses in his review words as "a simple out of line, outrageous distortion", "many errors, out of context, far-fetched, exaggerated, or simply speculate, uncertain", and the conclusion to this book as a "melted mixed the ultra-left trend of thought, far-right tendencies, populism, isolationism, anarchism".
According to Zhang Jiayi, we could think that the "currency wars" series of books' goal in promoting the conspiracy theory is precisely to meet the angry psychology of youth.
The book has been criticized for promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories. The book says that Jews have been conspiring to covertly influence historical events ranging from the Battle of Waterloo to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, with the intention of increasing their wealth and influence. In this respect, the material echoes traditional antisemitic conspiracy theories such as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, The International Jew, and Nazi propaganda like Der Stürmer. This is seen as rather unusual as China is not generally known for antisemitism.
Several Chinese American scholars also gave the first book negative reviews. Chen Zhiwu (Yale University) affirmed the reference values of the details the book provided, such as "what the Rothschild family did, how impacts the financial sector has on a country's development, etc". However, he finds the author, by that time the structured finance department manager of Hong Yuan securities, lacks financial expertise to be qualified to prescribe China with future directions. Zhang Xin (University of Toledo/Ohio) finds the book rich in historical knowledge, of which many he would not be able to analyse, but as a currency and financial system researcher, he believes the framework of the book is completely wrong and criticizes the book as lacking in "common sense".
The author responded to these comment by saying "While many scholars have voiced their objections to this book, they are aimed at the details of the book, not its logic or structure." 
- Note: A Korean translation of the book exists, translated by Cha Hye-jeong (차혜정), titled 화폐전쟁, published in 2008 by Random House Korea (랜덤하우스코리아), ISBN 9788925521190
- Note: A Japanese translation of the book exists, translated by Kawamoto Kayo (河本佳世) and Hashimoto Sekiya (橋本碩也), titled 通貨戦争, published in 2010 by 武田ランダムハウスジャパン, ISBN 427000620X
- Note: A Polish translation of the book exists, translated by Tytus Sierakowski, titled "Wojna o pieniądz", published in 2011 by Wydawnictwo Wektory, ISBN 9788360562451
- Note: A French translation of the book exists, titled "La guerre des monnaies - La Chine et le nouvel ordre mondial", published in 2013 by Le retour aux sources, ISBN 9782355120541
- Wong, Edward (2008-06-17). "Booming, China Faults U.S. Policy on the Economy". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-03-29. "'This time, the Chinese side is trying to change its attitude to be more active, to be more aggressive, to balance the two sides,' said Song Hongbing, author of 'The Currency War', a best-selling if conspiratorial book on the American economy."
- McGregor, Richard (2007-09-27). "Chinese buy into currency war plot". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- McGregor, Richard (2007-09-25). "Chinese buy into conspiracy theory". Financial Times. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Ng, Grace (2009-04-06). "Chinese flip new page in push to be superpower". The Straits Times (Singapore). Retrieved 2009-04-08.[dead link]
- Jin Zhu (2009-08-20). "Pulling the strings of the world economy". Beijing Today.
- Dyer, Geoff (2009-09-24). "The dragon stirs". The Financial Times. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Sang-Keun, Kim (2009-10-15). "Currency Wars by Song Hongbing". Retrieved 2009-11-05. "First of all, the book reveals that the Rothschild family is the richest family with $5 trillion dollars whereas Bill Gates 'only' have $40 billion dollars. The Rothschild family's wealth is 100 times the Bill Gates' wealth."
- http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/JFK-Miscellaneous-Information.aspx discuss the "Executive Order 11110"
- Geoff Dyer (2007-09-28). "Believe it or not". The Financial Times. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Zhang Jiayi (2009-08-04). "Book Review: Who is against Mr Song ?". sina.com.cn.
- Hung Huang (2008-10-02). "China, Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories and Wall Street". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- Arad, Boaz (2009-02-22). "Anti-Semitism makes it to China?". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- Buruma, Ian (2009-02-22). "China - The Jewish Myths of Asia - Anti-Semitism?". Vos Iz Neias?. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- "List of experts in Hong Yuan Securities". Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- Official blog of 'Currency War' (Chinese)
- Chinese buy into conspiracy theory
- Review of Currency Wars
- Review of Currency War 2
- Mr Song's interview about "Currency War 2" on Sina channel (Chinese)
- Detailed Table of Contents of Currency War (Chinese)
- Detailed Table of Contents of Currency War 3 (Chinese)