Chapter

International Economic Organization: Banking, Finance, and Trade in Europe Between the Wars

Charles H. Feinstein, Peter Temin and Gianni Toniolo

in Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198288039
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596230 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198288034.003.0002
 International Economic Organization: Banking, Finance, and Trade in Europe Between the Wars

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Provides an overview of inter‐war international economic relations, with particular emphasis on the causes of the Great Depression of 1929–33. Four explanations for the failure of inter‐war policy and performance are identified and discussed. These are (1) the problems of structural imbalance arising from the disruptive effects of the First World War, and from post‐war changes in technology and in patterns of demand; (2) the inability of the UK and the unwillingness of the US to provide the central bank leadership necessary for the successful operation of the restored gold standard; (3) the grip on policy‐makers of outmoded political and financial ideologies, evident in the insistence on substantial payments of reparations and in the attachment to the gold standard; and (4) the absence of international cooperation between the major powers and their reluctance to abide by the ‘rules of the game’ under the gold standard.

Keywords: central banks; demand; First World War; gold standard; Great Depression; international economic relations; policy‐making; reparations; structural imbalance; technology

Chapter.  31377 words. 

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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