Rehabilitating the Unloved Dollar Standard

Type:
SCID Working Paper 419

Author(s):

Published:
04/30/10

Abstract:
The international dollar standard is an accident of history that greatly facilitates international trade and exchange. But erratic U.S. monetary and financial policies have upset the American and world economies so as to make foreigners unhappy. A weak and falling dollar led to the great price inflations of the 1970s and to disastrous asset bubbles in the noughties. It aggravated the postwar world’s three great oil shocks. The asymmetrical nature of the dollar standard also makes many Americans unhappy because they cannot control their own exchange rate. Although nobody loves the dollar standard, it is a remarkably robust institution that is too valuable to lose and too difficult to replace. Rehabilitating the unloved dollar standard by “internationalizing” American monetary and financial policies to better stabilize the U.S. and world economies is the only way out of the current impasse.

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