The Central Banks: The International and European Directions

By William Frazer | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

A number of my interests started to coalesce in the early and late 1980s and led to The Central Banks. First was an early interest in J. M. Keynes's works, money matters, and the Bank of England, which in one way or another led to my assignment at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to report on the Sterling money market in 1956-57. This interest in London then lapsed for a time as socialist government steadily gained in the United Kingdom and Milton Friedman started to make his moves in the monetary area in the United States and to offer antidotal means for dealing with the rise of Keynesian governments, inflationary developments, and ultimately the simultaneous occurrence of both inflation and recession in the United States and the United Kingdom.

So, in the broad scheme of things, my interest was renewed as Friedman's ideas gained attention in London, as he entered into his work with Schwartz on Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom ( 1982), and as he gained Margaret Thatcher's attention. The renewed interest, the events, and research on Power and Ideas (including Milton Friedman and the Big U-Turn) then led me to London in the early 1980s and to an academic assignment there in the school year 1989-90, at a time of monumental events with monetary, economic, and political implications. The events included extended controversy over the Delors Report on monetary union (Report 1989), the breaching of the Berlin Wall, and rumblings of German unification and the breakup of the Soviet Union.

My first reaction was a draft manuscript titled A European Monetary System which I circulated in London and submitted to Praeger Publishers. It dealt with money matters, Thatcher's reactions, and what appeared in the manuscript as the sovereignty issue. That manuscript now appears as The Central Banks. Although based in part on The Legacy ( Frazer 1994a), this

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