THE GOLD STANDARD: Should the U.S. Go Back to It?

As they met last week in Washington, delegates to the meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund studiously avoided discussion of one subject: a change in the world's gold policy. Reason for the reticence: their host, the U.S. Treasury, is unequivocally opposed to any change. Since the U.S. is the world's largest gold holder, no adjustment can be made without U.S. initiative. Yet speculation about a change continues to be an irrepressible topic of conversation among financiers and statesmen around the world.

Talk about a change takes two forms. One is...

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