MONEY: Drowning in a World of Floating Values

The industrialized world switched to a system of floating-exchange rates in 1973 in the hope of ending the disruptive crises that had become almost routine with rigidly fixed currency values. But the floating-rate system—under which currencies pretty much find their own value in the market—is proving that it too can suffer, if not a crisis, then a period of turmoil. The troubles are pallid by past standards: central banks are spending only millions, rather than billions, to defend their countries' currencies, and no exchange offices are refusing to accept tourists' foreign money. Nonetheless, some currencies are not so much...

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