The Gold Standard Illusion: France, the Bank of France, and the International Gold Standard, 1914-1939 by Kenneth Moure

The Gold Standard Illusion: France, the Bank of France, and the International Gold Standard, 1914…

byKenneth Moure

Hardcover | May 15, 2002

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Economic historians have established a new orthodoxy attributing the onset and severity of the Great Depression to the flawed workings of the international gold standard. This interpretation returns French gold policy to centre stage in understanding the origins of the Depression, its rapidspread, its severity and its duration. The Gold Standard Illusion exploits new archival resources to test how well this gold standard interpretation of the Great Depression is sustained by historical records in France, the country most often criticized for hoarding gold and failure to play by therules of the gold standard game. The study follows four lines of inquiry, providing a history of French gold policy in its national and international contexts from 1914 to 1939, an analysis of the evolution of the Bank of France during this period and the degree to which gold standard beliefretarded the adoption of modern central banking practice, a re-examination of interwar central bank cooperation in the period and its role in the breakdown of the gold standard, and a study of how gold standard rhetoric fostered misperceptions of financial and monetary problems.The French case was exceptional, marked by absolute and tenacious faith in the gold standard, by the import and accumulation of a vast hoard of gold desperately needed as reserves to prevent monetary contraction abroad, and by adamant claims for the need to return to gold after most countries hadleft the gold standard, which had become, in the words of John Maynard Keynes, 'a curse laid upon the economic life of the world'. The Gold Standard Illusion explains French gold standard belief and policy, the impact of French policy at home and abroad, and reassesses the gold standardinterpretation of the Great Depression in the light of French experience.

About The Author

Born in Calgary AB on 31 March 1956. B.A. in Economics, University of Calgary (1980); M.A. in European History, SUNY at Stony Brook (1981); Ph.D. in European History, University of Toronto (1988). Currently Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1989. Member of the School of Historical Studies, the Institu...

Details & Specs

Title:The Gold Standard Illusion: France, the Bank of France, and the International Gold Standard, 1914…Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.88 inPublished:May 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199249040

ISBN - 13:9780199249046

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The gold standard and central banking to 19142. The worm in the fruit3. Deflation in practice4. The franc in peril5. The guillotine's clean cut: The Bank of France and the Poincare stabilization6. Rather a faith than a theory: central bank co-operation, 1916-307. The gold standard illusion8. Towards modern central banking9. ConclusionsAppendix IAppendix II