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From Bretton Woods to World Inflation: A Study of the Causes and Consequences Hardcover – May, 1984

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Book by Hazlitt, Henry


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Pub (May 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895266172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895266170
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,031,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Freeway University Student on October 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit. What is true for individual men is also true for the organizations that lead them. Hazlitt makes the sound case that the IMF is the root cause for world inflation. Henry Hazlitt, a man who was one of the greatest thinkers of our time, assembled in this book a series of editorials that he wrote while working at the New York Times when the Bretton Woods agreements were being constructed in 1944 and 1945.

Hazlitt's recurring criticism of the IMF was that it put too much pressure on the US Dollar as the world reserve currency. Under Bretton Woods, currency exchange rates were fixed as opposed to today where rates are deciphered and freely set by the market. No requirements were put on borrowing governments to keep their financial house in order. Governments could irresponsibly print currency and the US would have to buy that foreign fiat at the previously agreed fixed rate which was ultimately much higher than a free market would have paid. Now you know how the gold supply in this country went bye-bye. Hazlitt specifically cites the subsidizing of the French Franc at levels far above what a free market would tolerate, as being the reason the US was drained of most of its gold. Nixon doesn't get all the blame here folks. As stated on page 19 in the book, "The world dollar-exchange system was inherently brittle, and it broke."

Hazlitt also pointed out that The World Bank could lend prudently to counties that needed to rebuild after the war and that the IMF wasn't really needed. He also mentions different financial organizations that expressed the same thinking. Their sound reasoning was ignored.
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