Nixon shock

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pages: 381 words: 101,559

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis by James Rickards

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, game design, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, high net worth, income inequality, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Myron Scholes, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, one-China policy, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

The last vestige of the 1944 Bretton Woods gold standard and the 1922 Genoa Conference gold exchange standard was now gone. Nixon’s New Economic Policy was immensely popular. Press coverage was overwhelmingly favorable, and on the first trading day after the speech the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its largest one-day point gain in its history up until then. The announcement has been referred to ever since as the Nixon Shock. The policy was conceived in secret and announced unilaterally without consultation with the IMF or other major participants in Bretton Woods. The substance of the policy itself should not have been a shock to U.S. trading partners—de facto devaluation of the dollar against gold, which was what the New Economic Policy amounted to, was a long time coming, and the pressure on the dollar had accelerated in the weeks leading to the speech.

The signatories agreed to maintain these new parities in a trading band of 2.25 percent up or down—a 4.5 percent band in total—and the United States agreed to remove the despised 10 percent import surtax; it had served its purpose. No provision for a return to the convertible gold standard was made, although technically gold had not yet been abandoned. As one writer observed, “Instead of refusing to sell gold for $35 an ounce, the Treasury will simply refuse to sell . . . for $38 an ounce.” The Smithsonian Agreement, like the Nixon Shock four months earlier, was extremely popular in the United States and led to a significant rally in stocks as investors contemplated higher dollar profits in steel, autos, aircraft, movies and other sectors that would benefit from either increased exports or fewer imports, or both. Presidential aide Peter G. Peterson estimated that the dollar devaluation would create at least five hundred thousand new jobs over the next two years.

However, domestic politics dictated another fate for the dollar, a recurring theme in the currency wars. Because the market was pushing the dollar higher, it would require government intervention in the exchange markets on a massive scale if the dollar was to be devalued. This kind of massive intervention required agreement and coordination by the major governments involved. Western Europe and Japan had no appetite for dollar devaluation; however, memories of the Nixon Shock were still fresh and no one could be sure that Baker would not resort to import surtaxes just as Connally had in 1971. Moreover, Western Europe and Japan were just as dependent on the United States for their defense and national security against the communist bloc as they had been in the 1970s. On the whole, it seemed better to negotiate with the United States on a dollar devaluation than be taken by surprise again.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Under Bretton Woods, currencies were exchangeable for US dollars at a mostly fixed price, even if prices could occasionally fluctuate, subject (in theory) to the IMF’s approval. The US dollar, in turn, was supposedly fixed in value against gold: it wasn’t quite the gold standard, but it meant there was at least one paper currency in circulation that, until the Nixon Shock, had the attributes commonly associated with currencies in the gold standard era. For a while, the US dollar was ‘as good as gold’. Following the Nixon Shock, and thereafter the gradual abolition of exchange and capital controls, there was a danger that currency markets would become a ‘free for all’. European nations, however, had no enthusiasm for such an outcome: from the ‘currency snake’ of the European Exchange Rate Arrangement in the 1970s to the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System in the 1980s and 1990s and then, of course, the single currency, the majority of European nations have rejected the idea of currency chaos, preferring instead to limit their currency options to a greater or lesser extent.

If, however, everyone thought that way, then devaluation would become inevitable. The link between dollars and gold established by Harry Dexter White in the 1940s was ultimately an act of faith: by the mid-1960s, however, faith was in short supply. In 1968, the US decided no longer to redeem privately held dollars for gold. Three years later, President Nixon announced live on US radio and television, in what became known as the ‘Nixon Shock’, that: We must protect the position of the American dollar as a pillar of monetary stability around the world … In recent weeks, the speculators have been waging an all-out war on the American dollar. The strength of a nation’s currency is based on the strength of that nation’s economy – and the American economy is by far the strongest in the world. Accordingly, I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury to … suspend temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold or other reserve assets, except in amounts and conditions determined to be in the interest of monetary stability and in the best interests of the United States … Let me lay to rest the bugaboo of what is called devaluation.

Admittedly, the outcome of the Tokyo round was far from perfect: only a handful of major industrialized countries signed up to many of the agreements – on, for example, subsidies, import licensing and government procurement – suggesting that multilateralism was but a distant dream. Still, unlike the 1930s, protectionism was mostly held at bay. Ultimately, the post-war institutions offered an international framework for stability, backed by American dollars and military hardware. Even when stability was threatened – most obviously via the Nixon Shock – the institutions were able to adapt to new challenges. By the end of the 1970s, the IMF was stronger than ever before, even if the fixed exchange rate system conjured up in Bretton Woods had been consigned to the scrap heap. Successive GATT rounds had managed to keep protectionism at bay. And, with the European Economic Community’s enlargement in 1973, what had originally been a cross-border economic arrangement designed primarily to stop France and Germany from fighting again was fast becoming a major economic, political and social force.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

Hinton argued that Johnson’s creation of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) “made national policy makers meaningful partners in law enforcement and criminal justice at all levels.” She concluded, “Johnson paradoxically paved the way for the anticrime policies of the Nixon and Ford administrations to be turned against his own antipoverty programs” (Hinton 2016, 8, 14). See also Thompson 2010. 3. The “Nixon Shock” was a combination of three policies, but the change in exchange-rate regime was the lasting and important one. The need for a new policy should have been obvious from Bagehot and Keynes, since the primary function of a central bank with a fixed exchange rate is to preserve the exchange rate. The Mundell-Fleming model that formalized this insight was only a decade old and probably not yet widely understood (Nixon 1971; Eichengreen 2011). 4.

Bradley, 116–117, 129, 142 Mincer, Jacob, 165 Minimum wage, 62, 72, 79 Minow, Martha, 111, 134 Mobility, 7, 32, 46, 133, 154, 159 Mortality, 33, 39–40, 58, 126, 154 Mortgages bubbles and, 154–155 discrimination and, 117 Fannie Mae and, 138 FIRE sector and, 80 forgiving, 156 Freddy Mac and, 138 Great Migration and, 34 HAMP and, 139–140 hedge funds and, 179n5 housing and, 34, 44–45, 69, 80, 117, 137–140, 154, 156, 179n5 Investment Theory of Politics and, 69 low-wage sector and, 34 race and, 117 reform for, 156 restricted access to, 117 security and, 138 transition and, 44–45 Mundell-Fleming model, 169n3 Murray, Charles, 132 Mutual funds, 31 NAACP, 116–117 National defense, 17–18, 93 National Federation of Independent Business, 97 National Review magazine, 51 National Rifle Association, 97 Native Americans, xi, 84 Neoliberalism, 17, 21–22 New Deal, 21, 52, 65, 80–81, 101, 141 New Federalism, 21–22, 35, 44, 83, 103, 110 New Jim Crow, 27, 49, 104, 154 New Jim Crow, The (Alexander), xvi Newman, Oscar, 131–132 New Yorker magazine, 83, 135 New York Times newspaper, 125 Nineteenth Amendment, 56, 58, 67 Nixon, Richard M. depletion allowance and, 81 floating exchange rate and, 15 Ford and, 168n2 Johnson and, 15, 27, 168n2 Kennedy and, 81 mass incarceration and, 104, 109 military draft and, 16 New Federalism and, 21–22, 35, 44, 83, 103, 110 Powell and, 17, 27, 117 Project Independence and, 16, 71, 143 public education and, 117 Rehnquist and, 95, 142 Roberts and, 142 segregation and, 27 Southern Strategy and, 15, 27, 35, 81, 117, 142 War on Drugs and, xv–xvi, 15, 37–38, 53, 55, 104, 106, 110, 132 Nixon Shock, 169n3 Nobel Prize, 7, 49, 124, 162, 164 North cities and, 132–134 concepts of government and, 88, 94 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 20 Great Migration and, 20, 27–28 (see also Great Migration) Investment Theory of Politics and, 62–66 low-wage sector and, 27–29, 32, 34 manufacturing jobs in, 20 mass incarceration and, 104 public education and, 119, 125 race and, 51–53, 55, 59 unions and, 20 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 55 Northeast Corridor, 134 Norway, 149 Obama, Barack, 25, 38, 81–84, 91, 96, 127, 175n12 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 90 Offshoring, 28, 32 Oil, 80–81, 180n13 depletion allowance of, 81 Koch brothers and, 17–19, 83–85, 92, 97, 110–111, 158–159, 169n12, 175n17 OPEC and, 16, 143 Project Independence and, 16, 71, 143 shock of, 16 Oligarchy, 65, 72, 87–89, 93–97, 115, 159 One-percenters CEO salaries and, 24 Reagan and, 22–23 tax cuts for, 22–23 very rich and, 3, 9–12, 22–24, 77–85, 92, 96, 155, 170n28 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 16, 143 Oxymorons, 15, 101, 110-111, 156.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Central bankers normally frown on the idea that government bureaucrats can determine the appropriate price for a bag of cement or a cup of coffee. But on August 15, 1971, with Burns’s blessing, Nixon went on national television to announce a ninety-day freeze on wages and prices. The president also unexpectedly declared that foreign governments could no longer exchange their dollars for gold—an announcement that would be known as the Nixon Shock.7 Price controls made great theater, and the public invariably cheered. In the United States, even the New York Times, Nixon’s arch-critic, applauded the president’s “boldness” in applying them. In the short term, controls seemed to stop inflation in its tracks. But controls did not address the problems caused by central banks pumping out money, and they blocked the sorts of adjustments that routinely occur when a poor corn harvest drives up the cost of raising cattle or when retailers run low on air conditioners during a heat wave.

See North American Free Trade Agreement Nakasone, Yasuhiro, 178 National Bureau of Economic Research, 48, 134 National Energy Act, 109 national income: ratio of government debt to, 151 National Westminster Bank, 82, 84 nationalism, 267; in France, 206–208, 209, 210, 214; in Spain, 211 natural gas: deregulation of, 102, 103, 104, 108–109, 110, 113 Nazi Germany, 146, 190 Nazi Party, 27–28, 29 Nehru, Jawaharlal, 41 Netherlands, 1, 23, 30, 224; labor share in, 141; labor/trade unions in, 169; ungovernability in, 156; welfare state in, 18 new economics, 26, 261 new industries: vs. raw materials, 45–46 New International Economic Order, 43 The New York Times, 54, 231 Newsweek, 70 Nixon, Richard, 2, 3, 70–71, 119–120, 157; anti-inflation policy of, 106; Cost of Living Council and, 107; economic forecasts and, 65, 66; economic policy of, 47–49; employment and, 50; energy czar appointment by, 100, 108 (see also Simon, William); energy sector and, 102; environmentalism and, 61; inflation and, 48, 50; interest rates, unemployment, and inflation and, 55–56; monetary policy and, 51; oil crisis of 1973 in, 99–100; population growth and, 61; re-election of, 56, 180; regulation and, 108; Smithsonian agreement and, 55; Speer analogy and, 102, 108; treasury secretary appointment by, 101, 110 (see also Simon, William); unemployment and, 48, 235; Vietnam and, 48; wage and price controls and inflation and, 53–54; Watergate scandal and, 156; Watergate scandal and resignation of, 101, 110 Nixon administration, 222 Nixon Shock, 53 Nordhaus, William, 59 North America, 140; bank loans to Third World and, 241; debt crisis in, 247; economic slowdown in, 3–4; economy at close of World War II in, 17; income per person in, 6; postwar productivity in, 24; productivity bust in, 268; productivity slowdown in, 265; ungovernability in, 156–160 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 142 Northern Europe, 81, 212 Northern Ireland, 4, 167 Norway, 1–2; anti-tax movement in, 153, 154; income distribution in, 136–137 nuts and bolts industry, 125–126 Obama, Barack, 9 oil: deregulation of, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104–106, 107–108, 109, 110, 113 oil crisis of 1973, 1–3, 68–79, 81–97, 155; Arab-Israeli conflict and, 69, 70–71; Aramco and, 69–70, 71; in Canada, 2, 71, 240; economic stagnation and stagflation and, 78; economy based on cheap oil and, 79; in Europe, 1–2, 3; Federal Reserve and, 72, 74, 77, 78, 94, 96; in France, 72–73, 77, 78; in Great Britain, 72, 74–75, 77, 167; impact on global financial system (banks and brokerage houses) and, 81–97; inflation and, 74–77, 78; in Italy, 72; in Japan, 2–3, 72, 74, 77–78, 115–119, 122–124, 240; oil price increases and production cuts and, 72, 73–74, 95; productivity bust and, 78–79; Saudi Arabia and, 1, 67, 68–71, 73, 95; Seven Sisters (US and European oil companies) and, 68–69; in Soviet Union, 162; in Sweden, 166; Third World development and, 239–240; UN Security Council Resolution 242 and, 71; in United States, 1, 2, 3, 67, 68–79, 99–100, 240; welfare state and, 148; in West Germany, 72, 74, 177; Yom Kippur War and, 73.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

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airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

On August 15, 1971, he moved to “suspend temporarily the convertibility of the American dollar into gold or other reserve assets, except in amounts and conditions determined to be . . . in the best interests of the United States.”29 Though the White House described the move as temporary, it has never been reversed. Two subsequent devaluations of the dollar—making U.S. exports more competitive and undercutting the value of foreign countries’ dollar reserves—marked the death of an accord that had produced decades of prosperity. Inside the United States, these multiple moves were largely swallowed up by the din of the war and its protesters. Outside, the move became known as the “Nixon Shock.” Why, asked OPEC officials, should we exchange our most precious resource for a currency that’s rapidly losing its value? The oil embargo, and the price spike that came with it, sent some of the world’s leading economies into a tailspin. Between 1973 and 1975, U.S. GDP fell by 6 percent while unemployment doubled. Japan’s economy recorded its first losing year since World War II. OPEC members meanwhile saw their fortunes rise.


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Even here, a narrative is attached to the rating, which is unraveled whenever the rating shifts, or when various ratings agencies offer different grades for a particular financial product. 42 Bretton Woods refers to the international monetary system that was established in 1944, wherein countries agreed to adopt monetary policies aimed to ensure that their currencies maintained fixed rates of exchange against the U.S. dollar, which was in turn “pegged” to gold. After a series of difficulties during the 1960s, the system finally broke down in 1973, when a system of “floating” exchange rates was adopted. President Nixon’s decision to suspend the dollar’s convertibility into gold in 1971—known as the “Nixon shock”—was a major step toward this breakdown. 43 It was Bourdieu who accused Hans Tietmeyer, then President of the Bundesbank, of perpetuating a “monetarist religion” (see Tognato 2012: 135). 44 Issing was a key figure in the euro’s design and a founding member of the executive board of the European Central Bank. 2 CAPITAL This boundless drive for enrichment, this passionate chase after value, is common to the capitalist and the miser; but while the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser.

See also chartalism neoliberalism, 68, 130, 192, 193, 197–98, 270, 291, 331, 383; and utopia, 304–5, 315n, 383 neurosis, 12 neutral money, 9, 271, 273, 283, 285, 297, 318–19, 329n New Deal, 70, 72 new economic sociology, 279 New Economics Foundation (NEF), 374 new economy, 76, 77 New World, 13, 222, 223 New York fiscal crisis, 75, 77; parallels with Eurozone crisis, 79 Newton, Isaac, 109 Nicolayon, Sismondito, 65 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 12, 13, 36n, 136–42, 178, 181, 247, 271, 275, 291, 295, 318, 340; on bankers, 137; Beyond Good and Evil, 136, 141; The Birth of Tragedy, 154; on calculation and thought, 147, 295; on culture, 138; Daybreak, 135, 137, 148–49; on debt, 89, 135, 231; on desire, 229; Ecce Homo, 142; on ethics, 228; The Gay Science, 160; On the Genealogy of Morals, 135–36, 147, 152; on guilt, 136; Human, All Too Human, 139–40; on inheritance, 153; on modernity, 137; on money, 135–36, 137, 138–39, 273, 274, 389; on nobility, 138, 139, 323; on nobility of mind, 138; Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, 145; on prices, 139–40, 147; on promising and memory, 152, 157; ressentiment, 160; on the sea, 222; and socialism, 139; on society, 138; on superman, 148; Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 135, 141, 142, 351; on the transvaluation of all values (Umwertung aller Werte), 141, 205, 274; Untimely Meditations, 135, 161; Writings from the Late Notebooks, 137. See also death of God; eternal return; Übermensch Nigeria, 301 ninety-nine percent, 3, 129–30, 370–71 nihilism, 141, 142 Nishibe, Makoto, 345 Nixon, Richard, 45, 98–99, 244 Nixon shock, 45n Nobel Prize, 330 nomos, 262, of the Earth, 222, 223 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), 239 nonpecuniary values, 287, 294 North, Peter, 373 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 239 Nostradamus, 49 Nuer, 284 numismatics, 165; sociological, 34 nummus, 223, 262 occultism, 7, 11; and capital, 56, 154 Occupy movement, 1, 3, 50, 130n55, 201, 267, 370 Oedipus complex, 149, 150, 230 Oesterreichische Nationalbank, 20n Old Glory Mint, 361 one trillion dollar platinum coin, 385, 386, 387, 392 optimal currency area (OCA), 20, 253 order of worth, 200 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Orléan, André, 19, 43–46, 250; on Mauss, 32 Ortega y Gasset, José, 247 overaccumulation, in Bataille, 176; in Baudrillard, 192; and financialization, 61n22; in Harvey, 68, 166, 243; Marxian concept of, 65, 88, 205 overbanking, 122, 124 overproduction, 57, 73 Owen, Robert, 342 Pan, 77, 246 panic, etymology, 77n; financial, 77 paradox of thrift, 208, 347, 348 parallax view, 80–81, 205 Park, Robert, 319 Parsons, Talcott, 8, 34, 230, 276n patriarchy, 336 Patton, Paul, 227 Paulhan, Jean, 172n payday loans, 325 PayPal, 378, 380n Peace of Westphalia, 216 Pecunix, 42, 316 Peebles, Gustav, 304–5 peer-to-peer (P2P) currencies, 105, 365, 370 peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, 247, 316 peer-to-peer (P2P) payment networks, 365 pension fund socialism, 77 pension funds, 59, 68, 75, 110, 129n52, 132, 221, 243 pensioners, 2, 22, 72, 77, 88, 126 perfect money, 14, 30, 197, 315, 316, 317–22, 326, 328–30, 339, 341, 356–57, 375, 382 perfect society, 30, 315, 316, 320–21, 322, 326, 329–30, 351 Perroux, François, 207 philanthropy, 166 Pixley, Jocelyn, 315n Plato, 200, 313 Platonism, 322, 326 Plender, John, 50 Poe, Edgar Allen, 185 poetry, 313, 314, 331 Polanyi, Karl, 13, 36, 57n16, 271, 279–86, 291, 292, 294, 299, 306; on the double movement, 128, 280, 311; on embeddedness, 279, 280–81, 285; on fictitious commodities, 279–80; on formal versus substantive approaches to the economy, 285; The Great Transformation, 279, 282, 284, 286; on limited and general purpose money, 279, 282–83, 285, 286, 325, 373; on the market, 372, 279–81; on money and language, 297; on planned laissez-faire capitalism, 280 Polillo, Simone, 218–19 Polybius, Histories, 239 Ponzi, Charles, 117n Ponzi finance, 58, 117n, 118, 199; and Bitcoin, 368 Ponzi stage, 120.


pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game

To read more, see Bill Powell, “Inside China’s Runaway Building Boom,” Time.com, posted April 5, 2010. 17. Warren Karlenzig, “China’s New National Plan: Green By Necessity,” Common Current. com, posted November 29, 2010. 18. The history of currencies is recounted in Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (New York: Penguin Press, 2008). 19. See Wikipedia.org, “Genoa Conference (1922).” 20. See Wikipedia.org, “History of the United States Dollar” and “Nixon Shock.” 21. David E. Spiro, The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999). 22. See Marvin Friend, “A Short History of US Monetary Policy,” The Powell Center, powellcenter.org/econEssay/history.html. 23. Bill Black, “The EU’s New Bailout Plan Will Exacerbate Political Crises,” Business Insider, posted December 13, 2010. 24.


pages: 534 words: 15,752

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg

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air freight, Akira Okazaki, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, call centre, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, global supply chain, haute cuisine, means of production, Nixon shock, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, telemarketer, trade route, urban renewal

By 1971, a trade imbalance of nearly $6 billion between the two countries made the exchange rate troubling to Washington: The strong yen meant American products would be yet more expensive to export, while the Japanese products increasingly popular with American consumers would only get cheaper. Nixon responded by devaluing the dollar; under an agreement signed in December 1971, it would trade at 308 yen. In Washington, this move was part of a package of moves to dismantle the postwar global-finance system—the abolition of the gold standard, which led to the end of the Bretton Woods system—that came to be known as “the Nixon Shock.” At Tsukiji, it meant one thing: Overnight, the cost of importing bluefin tuna into Japan fell by 15 percent. Allowed to float freely, Japan’s currency set off on a generation-long upward trajectory against the United States, eventually trading for fewer than 100 yen to the dollar. The two-decade period whose blistering growth came to bear an aura of perpetual inevitability later became known to the Japanese as “the Bubble.”


pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

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asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, yield curve

Countries agreed to fixed exchange rates, tied to the US dollar, which in turn was tied to the ownership of actual, physical gold; the conference also agreed to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, which was to become the World Bank. The specific aim of the conference was to avoid the “beggar thy neighbor” policies between states that had played such a role in the turmoil of the twentieth century. The Bretton Woods system lasted from 1945 until President Nixon unilaterally took the USA off it on 15 August 1971, an event known as the “Nixon shock,” which reintroduced free-floating currencies. Nixon’s reasons for doing that were linked to the pressures on the US economy created by the Vietnam War and the growing trade deficit; his actions allowed the US dollar to drop in value, which was a help to industry and exports. BRIC A term coined by the former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, meaning Brazil, Russia, India, China. These are the fastest-growing emerging economies, respectively now the eighth-, ninth-, eleventh-, and third-biggest economies in the world.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

America, hobbled by the cost of the Vietnam War and unable to compete with cheaper foreign producers, couldn’t bring in enough foreign currency with which to restock its gold reserves and so started to run out of them as countries such as France demanded that their dollars be redeemed for the precious metal. Feeling trapped, President Richard Nixon took the stunning step on August 15, 1971, of taking the dollar off the gold peg. He did so with an executive order that was designed in consultation with just a handful of staffers from the Treasury, the Fed, and the White House. The “Nixon Shock” rendered the Bretton Woods agreement pointless. By 1973, once every country had taken its currency off the dollar peg, the pact was dead, a radical change. Governments could now decide how big or small their country’s money supply should be. Finally, it seemed, the chartalists’ moment had come. In this new age of fiat currencies, trust in money would become a relative and fluctuating thing: Do you trust the dollar more than the pound, or vice versa?


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, book scanning, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

The US economy was one of mass production, and, partly because of the protections afforded them by unions and the state, the wages of the middle classes had been high enough to buy what the nation itself had been making. But then in the 1970s, in the US and the UK, everything started to go wrong. The economy stagnated, inflation surged, stock markets crashed, there was the oil crisis, steel crisis, banking crisis, the ‘Nixon Shock’, the three-day week. The GDP tanked, the unions fought, millions lost their jobs. It was during these tumultuous times that Greenspan began manoeuvring himself into a position of enormous power. He’d entered politics in 1968, after insistent urging by Rand, as an adviser to Richard Nixon. By 1974 he’d been made Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, with Rand proudly watching over his inauguration.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

As the dollar was the global reserve and trade currency, the United States had to run large trade deficits to meet the world’s demand for foreign exchange. By the early 1970s, the ratio of gold available to dollars deteriorated from 55 percent to 22 percent. Holders of the dollar lost faith in the ability of the United States to back currency with gold. On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon unilaterally closed the gold window, making the dollar inconvertible to gold directly. The Nixon Shock was announced in an address on national television on a Sunday evening. The President risked antagonizing fans of the popular TV program Bonanza to make the announcement before markets opened. Frantic efforts to develop a new system of international monetary management followed. The Smithsonian Agreement devalued the dollar to $38/ounce, with 2.25 percent trading bands. By 1972, gold was trading at $70.30/ounce.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the net loss in manufacturing jobs between January 2008 and January 2014 was 114,500; “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics Survey (National),” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://data.bls.gov. 7. Michael Grunwald, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012), 10–11, 163–168; “Expert Reaction to Two New Nature Papers on Climate,” Science Media Centre, December 4, 2011. 8. Roger Lowenstein, “The Nixon Shock,” Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine, August 4, 2011; Bruce Bartlett, “Keynes and Keynesianism,” New York Times, May 14, 2013. 9. The 3.7 million jobs estimate comes from the Apollo Alliance Project, which merged with the BlueGreen Alliance in 2011. “Make It in America: The Apollo Clean Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan,” Apollo Alliance, October 2010; Smart Growth America, “Recent Lessons from the Stimulus: Transportation Funding and Job Creation,” February 2011, p. 2. 10.


pages: 1,242 words: 317,903

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby

airline deregulation, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, energy security, equity premium, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, paper trading, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, secular stagnation, short selling, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield curve, zero-sum game

He still feared inflation and asset bubbles as keenly as ever—witness his writings on home-equity extraction—but he no longer viewed rules as the right antidote. He would still be willing to humor Reagan by paying occasional lip service to the virtues of the gold standard. But he no longer believed this message. In one sense, Greenspan’s new stance was only logical. It would clearly be futile to go back onto the gold standard so long as inflation raged, because inflation would undermine the credibility of the gold peg and the Nixon shock would be repeated. Equally clearly, if raging inflation could in fact be contained, then going back to gold would have been proved unnecessary. Yet in another, deeper way, Greenspan’s new stance reflected a changed understanding of democracy. Modern pluralistic systems, Greenspan was saying, were messy and willful; after witnessing government up close, he knew this conclusively. It was idle to expect such systems to submit to rules—political pressures would destroy them.