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By Barry J. Eichengreen

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But problems at the periphery did not threaten systemic stability, leaving Europe's central banks less inclined to come to the aid of a country in, say, Latin America. Indeed, many countries outside Europe lacked central banks with which 68 Another way to understand the response of gold flows is that investors realized that with a dollar's worth of gold they could acquire claims against banks that would be worth more than a dollar once the temporary suspension had ended; gold flowed in as investors sought to take advantage of this opportunity.

It. belies the notion that the gold standard was an atomistic system. Rather, its survival depended on collaboration among central banks and governments. THE GOLD STANDARD AND THE LENDER OF LAST RESORT The operation of the gold-standard system rested, as we have seen, on the overriding commitment of central banks. to the maintenance of external convertibility. As long as there did not exist a fully articulated theory linking discount policy and interest rates generally to the business cycle, there was, at most, limited pressure for the monetary authorities to direct their instruments toward other targets.

1 424 451 357 Source: Lindert 1969, p. 22. 'Details may not add up to totals because of rounding. - . = not applicable. many, Italy, Japan, and Norway). There was elasticity in the relationship geiween the money supply and gold and foreign-exchange reserves for other reasons as well. Statutesgoveming the operation of fiduciary and proportional systems specified only minimum levels for reserves. Nothing prevented central banks from holding more. 37 For example, the Banking Department of the Bank of England might hold as a cash reserve some of the £14 37 Except, that is, the desire to minimize holdings of assets that bore no interest.

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