MONEY: Shrinking the Snake

Something like an old-fashioned monetary crisis gripped Europe last week. Currencies wobbled, governments felt threatened, and the carefully worked-out international agreements aimed at keeping exchange rates stable seemed on the verge of collapse. The French franc lost 3.7% of its value against the dollar and the Italian lira 8.6%. The British pound, weakened by confusion surrounding the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, continued to trade at record low prices. As anxiety began to shake the money of other nations, traders rushed to buy up strong West German marks. That...

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