Bretton Woods

August 15, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the day President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window,” ending the postwar Bretton Woods international monetary system. It is an appropriate moment to reconsider the internal inconsistencies of the Bretton Woods system. As its contemporary critics understood, Bretton Woods…

A couple months ago, in arguing that “The Fed should give everyone a bank account,” journalist Matt Yglesias cited what he took to be an instructive precedent: “Once upon a time, governments didn’t issue paper currency, and instead banknotes were printed privately by banks. But over time,…

Uncertainty

(This post completes my three-part discussion of the "regime uncertainty" hypothesis, according to which the New Deal hampered recovery by causing businessmen to fear policy changes that might render their investments unprofitable.  Links to the previous posts about regime uncertainty, and to the other posts of my…

(This post continues my discussion of the "regime uncertainty" hypothesis, according to which the New Deal hampered recovery by causing businessmen to fear policy changes that might render their investments unprofitable.)   Insull's Monstrosity The 1935 Revenue Act wasn't the only measure that had businessmen and investors…