Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why the Triffin Plan was Rejected and the Alternative Accepted? – A Heterodox Analysis

World Journal of Social Sciences
Vol. 1. No. 5. November 2011. Pp. 28-35

Carol M Connell

"When Burton Malkiel (author of A Random Walk down Wall Street and a member of the Bellagio Group) wrote his analysis of the Triffin Plan in 1963, those working toward monetary reform were coming down strongly in favor of a multiple currency approach. The Triffin Plan, which had attracted so much initial attention after the publication of Gold and the Dollar Crisis (1960), had been rejected. From the vantage point of history, we know that the multiple currency approach did not win the day. Robert Triffin would later claim that no one did more to ensure that floating exchange rates emerged the winner in the policy debate than Fritz Machlup because of his influence on academic economists and policy makers through the Bellagio Group conferences. This paper is motivated by the research question: what role did Fritz Machlup and the Bellagio Group play in the reform and development of the world monetary system? The findings tell a nuanced story of the move from fixed to flexible exchange rates, and discover the Triffin Plan alive and well in the scaffolding of the current hybrid system."


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