Charting Twentieth-Century Monetary Policy: Herbert Hoover and Benjamin Strong, 1917-1927

By Silvano A. Wueschner | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Foreign Developments: The Move to Stabilize

Economic conditions in America give promise of a period of financial stability, thus reducing the risk of dangerous reactions during the initial months of a free gold market, and prevailing sentiment there would be likely to be helpful. We therefore recommend that the early return to the gold basis should forthwith be declared to be the irrevocable policy of His Majesty's Government.

Committee on the Currency1

German economic stabilization was the great achievement of 1924, and this, it was hoped, would lead to a general stabilization of exchange rates and ultimately to a period of peace and prosperity in Europe. Some, however, placed greater emphasis on the importance of stabilizing the English economy. This, according to a number of bankers, economists, and leading officials in the United States and Europe, was the key to financial stabilization in Europe as a whole,2 and in order to achieve stabilization, it was argued, England should return to the gold standard as soon as possible.3 Ever since 1920 this had been seen by most economists, financiers, and politicians as essential to "any permanent rehabilitation of credit and currency systems."4

____________________
1
Report of the Committee on the Currency and Bank of England Note Issues, February 5, 1925 (hereafter referred to as the "Committee on Currency").
2
Josephine Young Case and Everett Needham Case, Owen Young and American Enterprise ( Boston: David R. Godine, 1982), pp. 274-281; see also Melvin Leffler, The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979).
3
Benjamin Strong to Pierre Jay, July 10, 1924, FRBNY.
4
At the meeting of the International Financial Conference held at Brussels in 1920, in which 39 nations participated, it was resolved that it was desirable that the countries

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