ABSTRACT

For many decades the United States remained virtually unaffected by the ebb and flow of economic events in the rest of the world. In economic matters—if not in political—it continued to be rather isolationist in outlook. Monetary policy was largely dictated by domestic considerations and was affected but little by changes in Bank Rate in London or in other European financial centres. The change in emphasis recently apparent in America’s economic policies is no doubt largely a consequence of the United States’ increased importance in international politics. Certainly, heavy commitments overseas both for defence and economic aid must have added materially to the pressure on America’s balance of payments and it is precisely because of the emergence of a balance of payments problem that the United States has at last been obliged to shape its monetary policies with at least one eye focused on external considerations and on the relation of the dollar to other leading currencies. The kind of problem that Britain (and many other countries) has had to live with for many years is at last becoming a familiar topic of conversation in the United States itself.