Central Bank Cooperation at the Bank for International Settlements, 1930-1973

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This book covers the history of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the first-born among the international economic institutions, from its founding in Basel in 1930 to the end of the Bretton Woods system in 1973. The first chapters explore the foundation of the BIS, its role in the financial crisis of 1931, the London economic conference of 1933, and in following years when central bank cooperation was mostly reduced to technical matters. Considerable attention is devoted to the much criticized activity of the BIS during World War II. The book then deals with the intensive central bank cooperation from the recreation of Europe's multilateral payments in the 1950s and for the support of the Bretton Woods system in the 1960s. The last chapter is devoted to the involvement of central banks in the first timid steps towards European monetary unification and to the eurodollar market.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A formidable work of financial history, admirably readable, and informed by finely tuned economic, political, and humane judgement." - Bernard Wasserstein Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

"We should all be grateful to Toniolo for by his efforts providing us with the material to address a large number of important questions, and for embedding that material in a useful and informative historical narrative." - Geoffrey Wood, Cass Business School, London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521845519
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Series: Studies in Macroeconomic History Series
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 2.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Gianni Toniolo is Professor of Economics at the Università di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy) and Research Professor of Economics at Duke University. A former professor of Economics and chair of the Economics Department at the University of Venice, he has held visiting positions at All Souls College and St. Antony's College, Oxford, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, and the University of Connecticut. He is also a Research Fellow in the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London and a member of the European Academy. Professor Toniolo is the author of several books in Italian and English on European and Italian economic growth from 1800 to the present and the history of financial markets and institutions with special reference to central banking, including The European Economy between the Wars (1997, with C. H. Feinstein and P. Temin) and An Economic History of Liberal Italy, 1850-1918 (1990). He is the editor of 17 books, including Patterns of European Industrialization: the Nineteenth Century (1991, with R. E. Sylla), Central Banks' Independence in Historical Perspective (1988), and Economic Growth in Europe Since 1945 (Cambridge University Press, 1996, with N. Crafts). Professor Toniolo is co-editor (with P. Ciocca and G. Federico) of Rivista di Storia Economica.

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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables; Foreword; Preface; List of acronyms; 1. International payments and central bank cooperation; 2. Gestation and birth; 3. Organisation and first operations; 4. The 1931 crisis and international lending; 5. The end of reparations, the gold standard and the 1933 London conference; 6. An autarkic and divided world; 7. Wartime; 8. Bretton Woods; 9. Reconstructing multilateral payments; 10. Achieving convertibility; 11. The 1960s: patching up the Bretton Woods system; 12. Monetary union and financial stability; Epilogue; Notes; List of archives consulted; Bibliography; Annex A. BIS statutes 1930; Annex B. BIS balance sheet, 1930–2000; Annex C. BIS Board of Directors and Management, 1930–2005; Annex D. Chronology of events, 1929–2005; Annex E. Dramatis personae: biographical sketches; Index.

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