Reply To: Bond vigilantees and political power


After the breakup of Bretton-Woods, from the early 70s until the early 80s, the world had no international monetary system.It was freely-floating exchange rates. In the early 80s, the U.S. decided to reconstitute an international dollar standard in Asia and Latin America. In the 70s, Europe was trying to create an European monetary system which eventually became the Euro. So American power in the world was augmented by by this arrangement. Just like under Bretton-Woods, the U.S. could have “inflation without tears.”

The global monetary instability in the 70s was the result of the absence of an international monetary system, i.e., freely-floating exchange rates. Price controls were an ignorant response to the instability in the U.S. by the Nixon administration. The oil crises was an assertion of power by the middle-east, oil- producing countries against the large oil companies of the first world countries.

Rothbard provides a brief overview of monetary history in What Has Government Done to Our Money, Section IV.