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The Geopolitics of the Dollar

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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A crucial turning point in geopolitical history occurred on November 1, 1978, when President Carter announced a massive borrowing of foreign currencies to save the U.S. dollar. For the first time since World War II the U.S. was forced to borrow from the International Monetary Fund; and for the first time since 1893 the U.S. Treasury will have to issue bonds denominated in foreign monies—in this case Japanese yen, West German marks, and Swiss francs.

What all this means is that the U.S. has acknowledged two things: that the European Economic Community (the EEC) and Japan are now its economic equals; and that America has forfeited the international economic supremacy it enjoyed since 1915.

Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1979

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