Anderson, Robert B.
April 1960
Foreign Affairs;Apr1960, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p419
Academic Journal
This article presents information on economic conditions of the U.S., after the World War II. resources did in fact make it possible for us to act quickly after World War II in easing the "balance of payments" problems of others. The destruction and economic dislocation of the war had wiped out much of Western Europe's monetary reserves. Export earnings had greatly diminished. The United States recognized that the war-devastated countries had little ability to pay for imports of food, materials and equipment--the foundations on which swift and effective rehabilitation had to be built. This recognition has been forced on us by the sudden and substantial increases in the deficits occurring in our balance of payments during 1958 and 1959. Deficits had occurred earlier. But it is the sharp recent uptrend which has caused concern--and rightly so. The events of the postwar period have made the United States dollar the major reserve currency of the world. Large deficits or surpluses in the balance of payments should not persist. While there is a tendency toward equilibrium in the balance of payments, the rapidity and effectiveness with which a country moves from unbalance back to balance varies from case to case.


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