By A. Endres

Drawing on favourite contributions via economists to the controversy on foreign financial reform, this book offers an historic standpoint at the plans, schemes and concepts at the foreign economic system.

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Extra info for International Financial Integration: Competing Ideas and Policies in the Post-Bretton Woods Era

Example text

132–4). So much, then, for the views of Harry Johnson which had long pedigree in the Chicagoan tradition. The following table illustrates several possible IFOs discussed in the years immediately pursuant to the collapse of BW in 1971. 66). All were alternatives to an IFO based on new, synthetic international money. In interpreting this table, consider the classical gold standard: it may be described as ‘I. A. 1’ that is, a combination of fixed exchange rates, with gold used internationally as the reserve asset for settling international transactions, and fully mobile international capital flows.

The idea of a self-regulating IFO was anathema to all but a small minority. In his book entitled The Failure of World Monetary Reform 1971–74, John Williamson (1977) ruefully outlined the experience during that period. High expectations, due mostly to the spirit and success of the BW order, were dashed. The BW doctrine embodied…a comprehensive set of rules for assigning macroeconomic policies: exchange rates to medium-run external balance, fiscal-monetary policy to short-run internal balance, and reserves to provide a buffer stock (as distinct from a monetary base) that would allow short-run departures from external balance.

Only Haberler made inflation a direct concern. Others seemed to regard bouts of inflation as one-time (rather than persistent) events. And they regarded inflation as easily controllable with national demand management tools and incomes policies (national controls on wages and prices). At the same time, they generally preferred agreements on managing, if not fixing, exchange rates as the international policy tool that would keep inflation under control. Intergovernmental cooperation, in this view, should result in higher (real) global growth and lower inflation compared to a situation that allowed governments to develop independent policies.

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