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International Monetary Instability All Over Again

Robert Z. Aliber ()
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Robert Z. Aliber: University of Chicago

Atlantic Economic Journal, 2017, vol. 45, issue 4, 399-409

Abstract: Abstract One of the signature developments of 2016 was the move from globalization and market integration toward nationalism and protection. A headline in the Financial Times (April 13, 2017) read, “‘Sword of protectionism hangs over trade’, says IMF.” The headline demonstrates “Silo-ism”. The Fund does not recognize that the demand for import barriers in countries with large trade deficits and high unemployment have resulted from massive imbalances in international payments. Monetary instability in the 1920s and the 1930s was reflected in the overvaluation of the British pound, the undervaluation of the French franc and subsequent overvaluation of the U.S. dollar. Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, in part because the high price of the British pound depressed exports and wages in manufacturing. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has doubled since 1980, yet manufacturing employment has declined by eight million. The demand for protection in the U.S. has increased because the more rapid growth of imports than exports has led to the decline of three to four million U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Keywords: Floating currencies; Payments imbalances; Destabilizing speculation; Monetary instability; U.S. international investment position; E32; F21; F31; F33; F38; G01; G15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:45:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11293-017-9559-1