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Look Inside Central Bank Cooperation at the Bank for International Settlements, 1930–1973

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


Part of Studies in Macroeconomic History

  • Date Published: May 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521845519

£ 118.00

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • An insider's view on multilateral monetary cooperation
    • Based on primary sources from 10 archives worldwide
    • A comprehensive history of an important 20th century international economic institution
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'I enjoyed very much reading this book. It is based on very extensive archival research. Moreover, Toniolo brings a strong combination of a wide historical erudition and a firm grasp of economic theory to the project. The book is well written and Toniolo usually knows how to convey the key issues in sometimes difficult and arcane financial matters. Moreover, he is very good at situating them in their political context, both internationally and in the domestic politics of the different countries. Also, Toniolo often uses economic theory to structure and bring together the main arguments. His judgement is careful and balanced.' History of Economic Ideas

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521845519
    • length: 752 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 165 x 60 mm
    • weight: 1.223kg
    • contains: 39 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures and tables
    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
    List of archives consulted
    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

  • Author

    Gianni Toniolo, Università degli Studi di Roma 'Tor Vergata'
    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.

    Assisted by

    Piet Clement

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