9781137471352

Gold, the Dollar and Watergate How a Political and Economic Meltdown Was Narrowly Avoided

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137471352

  • ISBN10:

    1137471352

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-12-10
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

In January 1969 as the President Richard Milhous Nixon pledged to make the United States a calmer place, foster peace in the world and strengthen America's position in the world, damaged by the conflict in Vietnam. While Nixon's first priority was ending the War, the economy and the international position of the dollar also required attention. However, the 1970s turned out to be a unique period in history, with the convergence of three crises , each carrying its own dangerous load, but in combination posing a unique political and economic threat to global stability.

The Vietnam War turned out to be much costlier than originally envisaged, and as its trading partners posted lower rates of inflation, America was losing its competitive edge. It was frequently running deficits on its overall payments, while European countries were in surplus and accumulating dollars. This led to the gold-dollar crisis. In contrast to the years of dollar scarcity after the Second World War, Europeans no longer wanted to add to their dollar reserves. In addition Nixon also had to tackle the fourfold increase of oil prices in 1973. As evidence came to light on the Watergate scandal, Nixon was losing the confidence of the American public, and foreign investors and politicians. The book examines the problems that Nixon faced during his presidential term, focusing on economics but also the impact of political decisions where they influenced or determined monetary and fiscal policy.

Author Biography

Onno De Beaufort Wijnholds is a former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and former Representative of the European Central Bank in the United States. During his 40 year career, which began at the Netherlands Central Bank, he was closely involved in dealing with international financial crises. He was also a professor of money and banking and has published widely.

Table of Contents

Introduction
PART I: GOLD
1. A Unique Metal
2. The Gold Standard
3. Gold Loses its Luster
4. War Chest, War Loot
5. Yellow and Green
PART II: THE DOLLAR
1. The Mighty Greenback
2. From Dollar Famine to Flood
3. Working Toward a Compromise
4. Change of the Guard
5. Nixonomics
6. Showing his Dark Side
7. Texas Hold 'Em
8. Floating Rudderless
9. Closing the Window
10. Monetary Diplomacy
11. Building an Air Castle
12. Nixon Triumphant
13. Money Masters
PART III: WATERGATE
1. Escalation
2. War and Oil
3. Recycling
4. No Rest for the Wicked
5. The Scourge of Stagflation
6. A Middle Eastern Odyssee
7. Down to the Wire
8. The Recession Bites
9. Nixon's Last Stand
PART IV: RUIN OR REVIVAL ?
1. Searching for Stability
2. Stimulate or Deflate?
3. Talking Down the Dollar
4. The Dragonslayer

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