By Robert Leeson (auth.)

ISBN-10: 023028602X

ISBN-13: 9780230286023

ISBN-10: 1349508985

ISBN-13: 9781349508983

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Additional info for Ideology and the International Economy: The Decline and Fall of Bretton Woods

Example text

From this, I deduce that the opposition to flexible exchange rates is not based upon analytically defensible criticisms of how the economy would behave. Rather the opposition rests upon an instinctive and possibly atavistic belief, on the century-old history of the gold standard, that a fixed price of gold serves to discipline dangerous fiscal and monetary tendencies. 2 In reality, Friedman argued, ‘inflation was always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon’; the popularity of the cost-push explanation resulted from ‘the desire of government authorities to shift the blame for inflation’.

Publicly, Friedman (1967, 91) stated that ‘in the present situation you have relatively Full Employment and I trust you will continue to’.

1 At an Executive Board meeting, Southard stated that ‘every country in the world would like to have immunity in par value matters. 2 In their defence of civilisation, the IMF played the role of policemen, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. Heretics were examined through a procedure that resembled an Inquisition. Thus in 1954, the Czech representative was grilled and informed that ‘We are a technical organization. ’3 These sentiments were clearly in tune with the methodological chapter of Friedman’s 1953 Essays in Positive Economics; but were also the antithesis of the chapter on flexible exchange rates.

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Ideology and the International Economy: The Decline and Fall of Bretton Woods by Robert Leeson (auth.)


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