From the Exchange Stabilization Fund to the International Monetary Fund

29 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2001 Last revised: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Michael D. Bordo

Michael D. Bordo

Rutgers University, New Brunswick - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Anna J. Schwartz

City University of New York (CUNY); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

We highlight the elements of the operation of the U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund that Harry Dexter White, who directed the Treasury's division of monetary research, transferred to his plan for the operation of the International Monetary Fund. The elements included the principle that all currencies were equivalent and the goal of the international fund, like that of the U.S. fund, was to stabilize exchange rates. The ESF also influenced White's vision for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The IBRD, however, represented a reaction by White against key elements of ESF stabilization loans, which were very short term, paid above market interest rates, and required collateral. Had White carried forward to the IMF the ESF elements pertaining to interest rates and collateral, its operations would have evolved in a markedly different direction from the one that it has taken.

Suggested Citation

Bordo, Michael D. and Schwartz, Anna J., From the Exchange Stabilization Fund to the International Monetary Fund (January 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8100. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=257839

Michael D. Bordo (Contact Author)

Rutgers University, New Brunswick - Department of Economics ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Anna J. Schwartz

City University of New York (CUNY) ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States
212-817-7957 (Phone)

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