Nixon shock

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pages: 381 words: 101,559

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


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, 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: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, 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

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: 234 words: 63,149

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


airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, 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


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, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, 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, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, 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, Wave and Pay, 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


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, 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,, 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, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, 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

To read more, see Bill Powell, “Inside China’s Runaway Building Boom,”, 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, “Genoa Conference (1922).” 20. See, “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, 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


air freight, Akira Okazaki, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, call centre, 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


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, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping,, 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, 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, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, 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


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, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, 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, peer-to-peer lending,, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, 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, 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: 741 words: 179,454

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


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, 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, Emanuel Derman,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, 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, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, 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, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home,, 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, 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, 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, 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 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

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


1960s counterculture, 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, Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, 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, 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.