Despite worldwide rhetoric about free trade and the global economy, the leading economic powers have done little to address the most insidious form of protectionism - the inherently unstable international monetary system. In this analysis, Judy Shelton calls for a unified international monetary regime - a new Bretton Woods, to lay the foundation for worldwide stability and prosperity in the post-Cold War era. In outlining steps toward a new world monetary structure, this text elevates the needs of individual producers - who actually create wealth in the global economy - over the programmes of governments.
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Shelton, whose 1989 audit of Kremlin finances (The Coming Soviet Crash) proved dead-on, here casts a cold eye on the increasingly fractious and risky state of the international monetary system. Notwithstanding the Cold War's end, the author warns, recurrent breakdowns in orderly currency relations could cost the global village its chance for sustained prosperity. In this cautionary context, she calls for a new cycle of self-controlled cooperation akin to that which prevailed during the two decades after WW II. Before presenting her own recommendations for renewal, however, Shelton offers a detailed, stage-setting survey of the West's efforts to get a firm grip on exchange rates from Bretton Woods through the petrodollar crisis and on to the contemporary era in which Europe's hopes for monetary union have yet to be realized. Citing nationalism as the gravest threat to the ties that bind trading partners in a peaceful world community, the author contrasts America's time-honored status as a champion of free markets and economic opportunity with the Clinton administration's attempts to gain advantage by manipulating exchange rates, browbeating commercial rivals, berating speculators, and otherwise throwing superpower weight around. What's needed to contain the preference of all governments for political expedience, she argues, is another Bretton Woods-like regime with gold as the universal standard of value to fix currency rates and ensure fiscal discipline and stability. If Shelton had her way, moreover, she would extend the barbarous relic's convertibility to private citizens (as a further means of guaranteeing honest counts from planet Earth's treasuries) and consign the IMF to history's dustbin. Capital analyses of how money makes the world go around, plus an agenda for restructuring an ad hoc order that's been overtaken by events. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Shelton (Hoover Inst., Stanford Univ.) examines the current disorder in international monetary relations and explains the far-reaching effects of the erratic and fluctuating exchange rates on world trade and international investments. She does a masterful job of analyzing the evolution of the international monetary system, from the preparations for the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 to the postwar currency stability to the current disorder of monetary relations. She then presents an "agenda" for a new fixed exchange rate-based monetary regime that would remedy the deficiencies of the current system and take into account the post-Cold War environment. This book will be of interest to academics, policy makers, politicians, and others who want to gain a better grasp of the implications of the disorderly flow of capital created by the behavior of the exchange market speculators. For academic libraries.
- Ali D. Abdulla, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Free Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110029291127
Book Description Free Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0029291127 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1014606
Book Description Free Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0029291127
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800292911221.0