A bell clanged on the Paris Bourse and a trader cried: "Buying dollars for 314." Another trader nodded: "I sell $25,000." With this simple transaction, France last week opened its first free legal money market in dollars in eight years. There were few sellers. The Bank of France, virtually the only buyer, bought a mere $150,000 the first day. By week's end, the dollar had inched down from 314 francs to 304, slightly under the black market price.

After the hue & cry over devaluation (TIME, Feb. 9), the trading was anticlimactic. The...

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