از بین بردن صلیب طلا: بحران های اقتصادی و سیاست پولی ایالات متحده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|24539||2000||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||14982 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Volume 11, Issue 1, August 2000, Pages 77–104
The advent of the Euro has put the spotlight on international monetary policy. Could a new world currency be created? Could there be a return to international fixed exchange rates? The history of the American response to the gold standard in its various forms suggests one theme. At key moments during the 20th century, the U.S. chose domestic monetary sovereignty over international obligations. This address traces the history of American attitudes toward gold from the 1890s to the present. That history suggests that creation of any currency system requiring loss of U.S. national monetary sovereignty is most unlikely.
With the creation of the euro on January 1, 1999, much of the European Union’s economy was united under a single monetary system with a common central bank. Existing currencies of the member states—such as the French franc, the Italian lire, and the German mark—became mere fractional representations of the euro on that date and will eventually disappear. European monetary unification eliminated the risk of exchange rate fluctuation from cross-border trade and investment flows within the euro zone. The development of the euro in the EU raises the question of whether similar currency unification could someday occur within other currency blocs such as NAFTA (or an expanded version of NAFTA if other Latin American countries become part of the agreement). Indeed, the euro’s creation raises an even larger question. Could the European experiment lead to creation of a world currency some time in the 21st century? Given the experience with flexible exchange rates during the 1980s and 1990s, this question is surely worth considering. The U.S. dollar appreciated dramatically for the first half of the 1980s in what seems in retrospect to have been a speculative bubble. At the dollar’s peak, the U.S. ran a massive trade deficit and a variety of domestic trade-sensitive industries suffered injuries due to the artificial boost in their cost structure relative to world competition. During the second half of the 1980s, the process unwound as the dollar fell in value. Still more dramatic were the Mexican peso crisis of 1994 and the Asian financial crisis that began in 1997. Both of these crises featured substantial depreciation of the affected countries’ currencies and severe macroeconomic effects within those nations. These episodes raised questions about the impact of global financial markets and especially about the policies and authority of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Since the early 1970s, the world has not really had a monetary “system.” Rather, countries have followed their own approaches to managing their currencies. Some have allowed a relatively free float with little official intervention. Others have tied themselves to the dollar or some other currency or to a basket of currencies. The rigidity of these linkages has varied. Some countries have used currency boards and abandoned independent monetary policy entirely whereas others have followed an active intervention approach. Crawling pegs and varying degrees of managed floating have also been part of the currency mix. The IMF’s role in this currency smorgasbord is ambiguous. That institution was created in 1944 to oversee the workings of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates, arrangements that ended abruptly in 1971. Could the IMF—now an institution without its original mission—become a world central bank in some new international currency system? Or will it remain a relatively weak institution, constrained by limited resources, complex and arcane procedures, and cumbersome decision making? The theme of this paper is that to the extent that U.S. assent is needed, major steps toward a world currency or even a fundamental shift towards greater IMF supervisory authority is unlikely. Even a formal NAFTA currency zone is improbable unless the partner countries agree to American-made and American-based monetary policy. American history is at the root of this opinion. IMF weakness—for example—is a product of U.S. history, a history that goes back to the 19th century. Put more directly, the specter of William Jennings Bryan—the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president in 1896—still haunts the international monetary system and the IMF. Bryan left behind a legacy in the American polity of not subordinating domestic economic needs to the seeming imperatives of the world monetary order. He also left a lingering suspicion of financial institutions that would play a role in future reformulations of the world monetary order. In tracing this current in American history, five episodes will be discussed. First, there is the 1896 presidential campaign and Bryan’s push for free coinage of silver and the abandonment of the gold standard. Second, there is Franklin Roosevelt’s temporary abandonment of the gold/dollar linkage in 1933 and his eventual boost in the official gold price the following year. Third, there is the creation of the Bretton Woods system in 1944 with its weak IMF model. Fourth, there is President Nixon’s unilateral termination of Bretton Woods in 1971 and his similar termination of the short-lived successor Smithsonian international monetary system. Fifth and finally, there is the push by some elements in the Republican Party to return to gold in the early 1980s, a push that continued to echo in the form of gold proposals by Republican notables such as Steve Forbes and Jack Kemp. All but one of these episodes—the creation of Bretton Woods—occurred against a backdrop of economic difficulties within the U.S. The 1890s and 1930s were years of economic depression. Nixon’s decision occurred after a slowdown in the American economy, engineered to fight inflation, turned into outright recession. A more severe bout of recession and inflation characterized the early 1980s when agitation for a return to gold peaked. Even the Bretton Woods negotiations, which took place during wartime prosperity, occurred at a time when many feared that the U.S. economy would fall back into depression after World War II ended and war-related military expenditures were terminated.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The ultimate triumph of William Jennings Bryan’s battle against gold could be seen 100 years after the defeat of his first campaign for the presidency. Whereas incumbent Bill Clinton spoke of a “bridge to the 21st century” in the 1996 presidential campaign, candidates such as Steve Forbes and Jack Kemp tried to interest the public in returning to the gold standard. But such a monetary bridge to the 19th century simply did not resonate with the electorate. It just sounded odd. A candidate might as well have campaigned for a return to the bustle and the buggy. By the 2000 campaign, Kemp had dropped out of presidential politics. And Steve Forbes’ gold position had been condensed into single sentence in his campaign book, easily lost in a sea of other agenda items (Forbes, 1999, p. 177). Radical monetary conspiracy types in the U.S. are now more likely to have a right/anarchist tilt in place of Bryan’s left/statist leanings. Where once the alleged conspiracy was that the U.S. went on the gold standard, now the conspiracy is that the country was illegitimately taken off gold. From this belief, extremist groups sometimes justify actions such as passing bad checks—because official money isn’t “real” anymore. That some of the wilder groups are found in states such as Idaho and Montana—the old silver producing areas that were once home to free-silver agitation—is surely no coincidence. Apart from its odd domestic legacy, Bryan’s posthumous victory over gold has international monetary significance. It means that the U.S. will not support an IMF that resembles a true central bank, let alone some sort of international euro-type currency. Even the constrained SDR that the IMF was allowed to create remains a minor element in world reserves and no distribution of SDRs has occurred since 1981. An international version of the euro administered by a true world central bank would end domestic monetary sovereignty of the U.S. A strong IMF would infringe on that sovereignty. Such infringement is something an American president and congress today would be no more likely to accept today than they were in 1944 when Bretton Woods was negotiated. Of course, countries such as Argentina remain free to tie themselves to the dollar unilaterally if they wish to do so. One can even imagine the development of a future NAFTA monetary zone based on the U.S. dollar. But such a development could occur only if the partner countries agreed to accept a monetary policy “made in the U.S.A.” and based on American domestic considerations.