MONEY AND TRADE: Saved by the Float

While it stunts industrial output and cramps consumers, the oil emergency has also stalled the movement toward reform of the international monetary system. The values of major currencies have been wildly gyrating—some up, some down. The dollar has been rising against other currencies because the U.S. has much more oil than Western Europe or Japan and thus stands to be hurt less severely than they by the energy emergency. In the past six weeks the dollar has climbed about 10% against the French franc, 8% against the German mark and 7.5% against the...

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