Strained Relations: Us Foreign-exchange Operations And Monetary Policy In The Twentieth Century

Hardcover | March 2, 2015

byMichael D. Bordo, Owen F. Humpage, Anna J. Schwartz

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During the twentieth century, foreign-exchange intervention was sometimes used in an attempt to solve the fundamental trilemma of international finance, which holds that countries cannot simultaneously pursue independent monetary policies, stabilize their exchange rates, and benefit from free cross-border financial flows. Drawing on a trove of previously confidential data, Strained Relations reveals the evolution of US policy regarding currency market intervention, and its interaction with monetary policy. The authors consider how foreign-exchange intervention was affected by changing economic and institutional circumstances—most notably the abandonment of the international gold standard—and how political and bureaucratic factors affected this aspect of public policy.

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During the twentieth century, foreign-exchange intervention was sometimes used in an attempt to solve the fundamental trilemma of international finance, which holds that countries cannot simultaneously pursue independent monetary policies, stabilize their exchange rates, and benefit from free cross-border financial flows. Drawing on a ...

Michael D. Bordo is professor of economics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a research associate of the NBER. Owen F. Humpage is a senior economic advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Anna J. Schwartz (1915–2012) was a research associate of the NBER.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.4 inPublished:March 2, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022605148X

ISBN - 13:9780226051482

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
1.   On the Evolution of US Foreign-Exchange-Market Intervention: Thesis, Theory, and Institutions
2.   Exchange Market Policy in the United States: Precedents  and Antecedents
3.   Introducing the Exchange Stabilization Fund, 1934–1961
4.   US Intervention during the Bretton Woods Era, 1962–1973
5.   US Intervention and the Early Dollar Float, 1973–1981
6.   US Foreign-Exchange-Market Intervention during the Volcker-Greenspan Era, 1981–1997
7.   Lessons from the Evolution of US Monetary and Intervention Policies
Epilogue: Foreign-Exchange-Market Operations in the Twenty-First Century
Appendix 1: Summaries of Bank of England Documents
Appendix 2: Empirical Method for Assessing Success Counts
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Ordinarily, the word ‘definitive’ is overused, but not in this case. The authors have written an exhaustively detailed history of intervention in the foreign exchange markets by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve System. . . . Unfortunately, central bankers do not document what is systematic about their behavior. Their preferred language of discretion crowds out any record of the systematic character of policy. That is why a book like Strained Relations is so important. Its methodical recording of a key aspect of Fed behavior provides documentary evidence on the nature of monetary policy, . . . [and] it sets a high bar for the quality of such research.”