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By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings

In a full of life critique of the way foreign and comparative political financial system misjudge the connection among international markets and states, this publication demonstrates the relevant position of the yank nation in trendy international of globalized finance. The participants put aside conventional emphases on army intervention, having a look as an alternative to economics.

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Although the dollar was nominally backed by gold, the day could already be foreseen when gold would be demonetized ‘along with copper, nickel, silver, not to mention wampum and clam shells’ (Kindleberger 1981: 103). The dollar already had a unique status: as reserve currency; as vehicle currency through which firms were generally invoiced and other currencies were exchanged in international commerce; and as store of value for financial assets (including for the issuance of public and private long-term bonds).

With Nixon’s rescinding of the temporary capital controls that had been introduced in the 1960s, the American state was now more adamantly opposed than ever to the use of capital controls (Helleiner 1994: 101–21). But the rejection by the European central banks of an American proposal to set reserve requirements on Eurodollar deposits also indicated the lack of genuine interest on the part of European states for cooperative capital controls. Even on the few occasions when they themselves raised controls as 32 Contours and Sources of Imperial Finance a possibility during the turmoil of the 1970s, it was notable that the European (and Japanese) governments did not push the idea very hard.

After all, hadn’t liberalism proved to be a failure? And how could Europe possibly compete with the US economically – or, even if it accepted the need for American capital and technology for post-war reconstruction, how could it possibly pay for this? Wasn’t inward, self-reliant development the only real option? Insofar as these questions have been neglected, it is in large part because of the assumption that the post-war order was in fact not, even tendentially, a liberal-capitalist one, but one that ‘embedded’ capitalist relations within a political and social regulatory framework designed to limit and control its logic and dynamics.

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