MONEY: Floating Furor

Since early 1973, the world's major currencies have been "floating"—that is, how many U.S. dollars or Japanese yen a German mark, say, can buy has been determined by the forces of supply and demand in foreign exchange markets and not, as in the past, by government fiat. The system seemed to work well for a while. Now, however, a growing number of Europeans are concluding that floating rates have been a failure. The harshest critic has been France, which last week ceased to allow the franc to float freely against all other money. Instead, it will rejoin a European...

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