Businessweek on Nixon's dollar shock.
"...From his 1999 Nobel Prize lecture, Robert Mundell explains the circumstances that led to the demise of Bretton-Woods and the Great Inflation of the 1970s:
The adoption of my policy mix [by JFK after 1962] helped the United States to achieve rapid growth with stability. It was not intended to and could not solve the basic problem of the international monetary system, which stemmed from the undervaluation of gold. Nevertheless the problem of the U.S. balance- of- payments was intricately tied up with the problem of the system. With very little excess gold coming into the stocks of central banks from the private market, and the US dollar the only alternative component of reserves, the U.S. deficit was the principal means by which the rest of the world was supplied with additional reserves. If the United States failed to correct its balance of payments deficit, it would no longer be able to maintain gold convertibility; on the other hand, if it corrected its deficit, the rest of the world would run short of reserves and bring on slower growth or, worse, deflation..."
Other part source: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-nixon-shock-08042011.html