BANKING: The Fund Kicks Off

The International Monetary Fund last week took its first solid step toward providing a stabilized basis for world trade. It fixed the currency values of 32 member nations at existing exchange rates (in terms of U.S. dollars or gold). Notably, this step was taken with no fuss; cutthroat currency manipulations, which many economists had feared as a preliminary, did not happen.

Seven* of the 39 member nations were granted delays in valuing their currencies because they are still too insecure. But initial rates on some of these are expected to be fixed before the Fund begins actual exchange operations, March 1.

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