France and the Bretton Woods International Monetary System: 1960-1968
42 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2000 Last revised: 21 Nov 2013
Date Written: February 1994
We reinterpret the commonly held view in the U.S. that France, by following a policy from 1965 to 1968 of deliberately converting their dollar holdings into gold helped perpetuate the collapse of the Bretton Woods International Monetary System. We argue that French international monetary policy under Charles de Gaulle was consistent with strategies developed in the interwar period and the French Plan of 1943. France used proposals to return to an orthodox gold standard as well as conversions of its dollar reserves into gold as tactical threats to induce the United States to initiate the reform of the international monetary system towards a more symmetrical and cooperative gold-exchange standard regime.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation