Money Doctoring after World War Ii: Arthur I. Bloomfield and the Federal Reserve Missions to South Korea
19 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2007
Date Written: January 2007
In this paper we analyse the scientific contributions of the New York Fed economist Arthur I. Bloomfield. A Canadian born economist, in 1941 Bloomfield took his PhD in economics at the University of Chicago, under the supervision of Jacob Viner and then joined the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a Research Economist and stayed there until 1958. In this position, Bloomfield combined scholarly research on recent economic history and international financial and banking problems with active service as a member of various committees and commissions, both in the United States and abroad. While on leave from the Fed, he accepted appointments as a consultant and advisor to various central banks and institutions. During his stay at the New York FED he also served on several governmental commissions, the most noteworthy being the Wilbur Commission to Indo-China and the Randall Commission on the US Foreign Trade Policy. The paper aims to address the following issues: after a brief reconstruction of Bloomfield's intellectual biography (Section 2), we try to illustrate his most original scientific contributions to the interpretation and the understanding of the international monetary system as it drastically evolved from the heyday of the classical gold standard to the interwar collapse and subsequent reconstruction (Section 3). Then, in Sections 4 and 5, we analyze the major achievements of Bloomfield's advisory activities. To a significant extent they coincided with a number of overseas missions which regarded the framing of new central banks statutes and other reforms of the currency system and financial markets of developing countries. In Section 5, specific attention will be devoted to Bloomfield's role in the establishment of a new monetary authority in South Korea, as the South Korean mission was the most influential episode of Bloomfield's career as an economic advisor. The paper ends with a brief Section of conclusions.
Keywords: Arthur I. Bloomfield, Central Banks, monetary policy in developing countries, gold standard, economists in Government
JEL Classification: B22, B31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation