By Onno de Beaufort Wijnholds
The publication examines the issues that Nixon confronted in the course of his presidential time period, concentrating on economics however the function of politics is additionally highlighted. The convergence of the gold-dollar crises, oil crises and Watergate imbroglio posed a different political and monetary danger to worldwide balance.
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Additional info for Gold, the Dollar and Watergate: How a Political and Economic Meltdown was Narrowly Avoided
The Dollar 39 The IMF takes off The International Monetary Fund, not having much of an impact during the first 10 years of its existence, started to make its mark in the middle of the 1950s, extending sizable credits to France and Great Britain. It helped that the fund had come under strong leadership when Per Jacobsson took the helm in December 1956. Jacobsson arrived at a time when the Bretton Woods system was becoming well established. The world economy was booming, the United States continuing to show enormous economic strength, and Europe and Japan were in the process of very rapid recovery from the deep trough of World War II.
Reverse gold rush Chastened by their bad experience with the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, as the Bank of England is popularly known, continental central banks hastened to exchange dollars for gold, led by the Belgian National Bank, which dumped $106 million in one shot almost immediately after the pound had “gone off,” followed in the next days by the French—for about $350 million—and the Dutch and Swiss, for smaller amounts. The French central bank was not yet done cashing its dollars for gold and shipping the precious metal to Paris, but—fearing an American devaluation—the French prime minister, Pierre Laval, sailed to the United States in October 1932 “to hammer out conditions for maintaining dollar deposits .
The Habsburg Austrian-Hungarian monarchy was no more, and a large swath of Balkan countries united in the new state of Yugoslavia after the Versailles peace conference. The Ottoman empire was collapsing, adding to post-war misery and uncertainty. At the same time, the United States became the major political and economic force in the world, and its dollar started its ascent to becoming the world’s major currency at the expense of the pound sterling. In Europe, countries dealt not only with the ravages of war, but also with inflation fueled by an enormous surge of money in circulation—a classic case of too much money chasing too few goods.