Paul J. Zak
As the twentieth century draws to a close, there is an almost universal agreement that economic growth is a fundamental goal which all countries must deliver to their citizens. There is much less agreement as to how to stimulate and sustain growth, and the way in which the conduct of monetary policy contributes to this endeavor. Monetary policy regimes run the gamut from overt government control to policy implemented by independent central banks to pegging one's currency to the dollar or another internationally held currency so that one country 'inherits' another country's monetary policies. Several of these monetary regimes have, in conjunction with ill-advised fiscal policies, led to a number of spectacular currency crises, first the Peso crisis in Mexico in December, 1994, and more recently, the Asian 'flu' caught by Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, among others. At the same time, Europe is moving toward the first stage of phasing out individual currencies in favor of a pan-European currency, the euro, scheduled to debut in January, 1999. Why are we seeing such a wide variety of monetary policy initiatives when the policy goal -- economic growth -- is the same?
This volume contains a debate of these issues held at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, March 23-25, 1997. The conference upon which this book is based marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Bologna-Claremont series of dialogues on international monetary policy. The conference -- and this volume - has a unique format: bring together experts in monetary policy, introduce relevant topics and let them 'slug it out'. This book consists of lightly edited transcripts from that meeting, where the editing is required to either clean-up grammatical errors or to add