When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy

When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy

by William L. Silber
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691138761

ISBN-13: 9780691138763

Pub. Date: 07/01/2008

Publisher: Princeton University Press

When Washington Shut Down Wall Street unfolds like a mystery story. It traces Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo's triumph over a monetary crisis at the outbreak of World War I that threatened the United States with financial disaster. The biggest gold outflow in a generation imperiled America's ability to repay its debts abroad. Fear that the United

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Overview

When Washington Shut Down Wall Street unfolds like a mystery story. It traces Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo's triumph over a monetary crisis at the outbreak of World War I that threatened the United States with financial disaster. The biggest gold outflow in a generation imperiled America's ability to repay its debts abroad. Fear that the United States would abandon the gold standard sent the dollar plummeting on world markets. Without a central bank in the summer of 1914, the United States resembled a headless financial giant.

William McAdoo stepped in with courageous action, we read in Silber's gripping account. He shut the New York Stock Exchange for more than four months to prevent Europeans from selling their American securities and demanding gold in return. He smothered the country with emergency currency to prevent a replay of the bank runs that swept America in 1907. And he launched the United States as a world monetary power by honoring America's commitment to the gold standard. His actions provide a blueprint for crisis control that merits attention today. McAdoo's recipe emphasizes an exit strategy that allows policymakers to throttle a crisis while minimizing collateral damage.

When Washington Shut Down Wall Street recreates the drama of America's battle for financial credibility. McAdoo's accomplishments place him alongside Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan as great American financial leaders. McAdoo, in fact, nursed the Federal Reserve into existence as the 1914 crisis waned and served as the first chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691138763
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
775,964
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The Legacy of 1914 1

Chapter One: The Opening Salvo 8

Chapter Two: The European Gold Rush 26

Chapter Three: The Nightmare of 1907 42

Chapter Four: Unlocking Emergency Currency 66

Chapter Five: Sterling Steals the Spotlight 86

Chapter Six: New Street Defies McAdoo 104

Chapter Seven: Rescue 116

Chapter Eight: End Game 131

Chapter Nine: Birth of a Financial Superpower 151

Epilogue: Blueprint for Crisis Control 173

Notes 177

References 201

Index 207

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