The Economy: Behind the Currency Curtain: Meet a Real Gnome

WHEN money tremors shake men and nations, heads of state often rush to blame international speculators, who are often pictured as latter-day Rasputins driving the values of currencies up and down by ruthless manipulation. British Laborite George Brown once contemptuously dubbed speculators "the gnomes of Zurich." President Nixon last year damned them for "waging an all-out war on the American dollar." Who are the speculators? And how much clout do they wield in world money markets?

By far the most important dabblers in foreign exchange are not slick and selfish private operators but the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!