THE HEMISPHERE: Dollars to Peanuts

The western countries of South America are running out of the blue chips of international exchange.Chile's war-won pile of U.S. dollars has shrunk. The dollar balances of Bolivia and Peru, never impressive, now look like peanuts. Ecuador's hoard, despite a bin-busting rice crop, has leveled off at $6,000,000.

The effect on trade with the U.S. is already noticeable. To husband its dollars, each country has clapped on stiff import controls. Chile's Foreign Exchange Control Board, for instance, has decreed that only essential items, such as machinery for new industry, can get import permits. By such close-to-the-vest trade, Chile...

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