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Bretton Woods and the U.S. decision to intervene in the foreign-exchange market, 1957-1962

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Owen F. Humpage
  • Anna J. Schwartz

The deterioration in the U.S. balance of payments after 1957 and an accelerating loss of gold reserves prompted U.S. monetary authorities to undertake foreign-exchange-market interventions beginning in 1961. We discuss the events leading up to these interventions, the institutional arrangements developed for that purpose, and the controversies that ensued. Although these interventions forestalled a loss of U.S. gold reserves, in the end, they only delayed more fundamental adjustments and, in that respect, were a failure.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0609.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0609
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  1. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 3-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alfred Broaddus & Marvin Goodfriend, 1996. "Foreign exchange operations and the Federal Reserve," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 1-20.
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