Money: Make Way for the SDRs

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin, looking uncommonly cheery, hailed the agreement as a "milestone," U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Fowler was positively expansive. Said he: "This is the most ambitious and significant effort in the area of international monetary affairs since Bretton Woods."

What had happened was that representatives of the Group of Ten,* meeting in London, after years of haggling had agreed on a way to revamp the free world's overworked, undercapitalized monetary system. Basically, the plan would create artificial reserves to supplement gold, the dollar and the pound. Known as SDRs (for "special drawing rights"), they are,...

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