Foreign Exchange Practice and Policy

Foreign Exchange Practice and Policy

Foreign Exchange Practice and Policy

Foreign Exchange Practice and Policy

Excerpt

A considerable part of the subject of foreign exchange comprises the complexities of exchange trading and has usually seemed to both businessmen and economists so technical as to warrant little attention. Yet for an adequate understanding of international economic relations it is important to know how the principal instruments of exchange are used and how foreign exchange rates are determined, how foreign traders accommodate themselves to changing conditions in the foreign exchange market, and what sorts of foreign exchange policies are adopted by governments.

In the last few years publishers have offered a number of excellent books on international trade and finance, but their treatment of these phases of foreign exchange has been exceedingly brief. If, to fill this gap, one turns to familiar and more or less elaborate books on foreign exchange, one finds that all of them include much detail not needed by the general student and that most of them were written before the collapse of the international gold standard.

In the preparation of this statement of present-day foreign exchange practice, the author has had the cordial assistance of many persons actively engaged in foreign trade and foreign exchange. With the generous cooperation of William S. Swingle, now vice-president of the National Foreign Trade Council, and Kenneth H. Campbell, Director of the Foreign Department of the National Association of Credit Men, a questionnaire on foreign exchange, credit, and collections was sent to about 1,100 American exporters, including the members of the Foreign Credit Interchange Bureau. Equally cooperative were C. G. Pfeiffer, president, and Harry S. Radcliffe, executive secretary, of the National Council of American Importers, in making it possible to send a similar questionnaire to its members. Chapter IV is based on the results of these two surveys. To the more than five hundred exporters and importers who--in many instances most elaborately--filled out the questionnaires, the author . . .

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