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Architects of AusterityInternational Finance and the Politics of Growth$
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Aaron Major

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804788342

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804788342.001.0001

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Guns, Butter, and Gold

Guns, Butter, and Gold

(p.157) 7 Guns, Butter, and Gold
Architects of Austerity

Aaron Major

Stanford University Press

This chapter explores the complexities of international monetary power in the late postwar period by looking at the rise and fall of the Great Society, which was followed shortly by the demise of the Bretton Woods system. While the international community became concerned about the high rate of American economic growth in 1966 and 1967, the Johnson administration resisted calls to slow the economy and even introduced new expansionary policies. The reason for this is that the United States had registered a couple of strong years of balance of payments surpluses in the middle of the decade and had been able to pay back many of its international debts. This finding highlights that it was not balance of payments deficits per se that put an end to national growth experiments but rather the ability of foreign monetary authorities to leverage financial dependency.

Keywords:   Johnson administration, Great Society, credit crunch, currency swaps, balance of payments, financial dependency, Bretton Woods

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