International Monetary Cooperation

By George N. Halm | Go to book overview

XII. KEY COUNTRIES AND MONETARY BLOCS THE PROBLEM OF TRANSITION

WE RETURN NOW to a problem which was briefly introduced at the end of Chapter IV, the question: "Is it wise to attempt to deal both with the problems of the transition period from war to peace and with longer-run currency stabilization under a single plan?"1.ProfessorWilliams believes that "a clear and unmistakable separation between these two problems" is "the greatest single prerequisite for the success of any plan for currency stabilization."2. He argues that there is a fundamental conflict between the requirements of the transition period and those of longer-run monetary stabilization" and that "any plan that serves one purpose well is bound to fail in the other."3.

Relief and rehabilitation together with the liquidation of the abnormal war-time balances will need funds of very large dimensions. If these needs are met "by a method which would expand American bank reserves and deposits, already greatly enlarged by the war" the danger of inflation would be great according to Professor Williams.4. Furthermore, the transition period would put the Clearing Union or Fund into a chronic lopsided condition. "Some countries would have run up large debits and other countries (mainly the United States) largely credits, and each group of countries would then be expected to pursue the policies of adjustment which are required by the

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1.
Williams, Foreign Affairs, January 1944, p. 234.

-159-

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