Finance: Symptoms of Malaise

After last November's devaluation of the British pound, persistent fears of a much greater upheaval began gnawing at the foundation of world finance. The resulting rush to exchange dollars for gold drained well over $1 billion from the dwindling U.S. hoard of bullion, cost the seven-nation London gold pool close to $2 billion. Like Britain, the U.S. has been living extravagantly be yond its budget, partly because of the heavy cost of the Viet Nam war but also through increased spending at home. Speculators' appetite for gold is only the most dramatic symptom of a monetary malaise that has...

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