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From Obscurity to Notoriety: A Biography of the Exchange Stabilization Fund

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  • Schwartz, Anna J

Abstract

The U.S. Treasury's $20 billion loan to Mexico in January 1995 from the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) brought to public notice the fund that had functioned in obscurity since its authorization by the Gold Reserve Act of January 31, 1934. The design of the ESF, as set forth in the statute, contributed to its obscurity. Its stated mission was to stabilize the exchange value of the dollar, but it has also assumed a role that had no mandate, that of lender to favored countries. ESF's intervention activities and the Federal Reserve's warehousing of ESF foreign currency assets are questionable. A statistical profile of the ESF accounts for the growth of its working balance from $200 million in 1934 to $42.6 billion in assets in 1995. Copyright 1997 by Ohio State University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 29 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 135-53

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:29:y:1997:i:2:p:135-53

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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Cited by:
  1. Charles W. Calomiris & David C. Wheelock, 1997. "Was the Great Depression a Watershed for American Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. Bradford DeLong & Barry Eichengreen, 2001. "Between Meltdown and Moral Hazard: The International Monetary and Financial Policies of the Clinton Administration," NBER Working Papers 8443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1998. "Under What Circumstances, Past and Present, Have International Rescues of Countries in Financial Distress Been Successful?," NBER Working Papers 6824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 2001. "From the Exchange Stabilization Fund to the International Monetary Fund," NBER Working Papers 8100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James M. Boughton, 2006. "American in the Shadows," IMF Working Papers 06/6, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Robert L. Hetzel, 1997. "The case for a monetary rule in a constitutional democracy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 45-66.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Owen Humpage & Anna J. Schwartz, 2006. "The Historical Origins of U.S. Exchange Market Intervention Policy," NBER Working Papers 12662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael D. Bordo & Owen F. Humpage & Anna J. Schwartz, 2011. "On the evolution of U.S. foreign-exchange-market intervention: thesis, theory, and institutions," Working Paper 1113, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. R. W. Hafer, 1999. "Against the tide: Malcolm Bryan and the introduction of monetary aggregate targets," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 20-37.

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