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By Jon S. Cohen, G. C. Harcourt

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Additional info for International Monetary Problems and Supply-Side Economics: Essays in Honour of Lorie Tarshis

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Under the ground rules of this peculiar literature, foreign exchange was disembodied and treated as if it was any ordinary flexibly priced commodity like wheat or copper. The fact that the international value of a nation's money must be jointly determined in national and foreign money markets was not made explicit. Hence, potential complications such as the behaviour of foreign and domestic interest rates, short-term capital flows, the forward market, and the trade balance were omitted . In the absence of private speculation, moreover, most authors (including Harry Johnson) assumed that the exchange rate was determinate although perhaps highly variable.

Therefore, it would seem important to understand the underlying mechanism. The key difference from the classical adjustment mechanism is the presumed (temporary) rise in R s above Rs under floating rates . Because _ dealers have regressive expectations that R s is indeed the norm , any forward exchan~ rate of arbitrary term, say R;' must be trapped between Rand R s . 21) 48 Stabilising Speculation Near-term forward rates are close to R,, whereas more distant futures are closer to R s. Besides holding currencies spot, dealers are free to take forward positions at any term to maturity - as per our analysis of dealer-speculators above .

The result can only be brought about by a series of gradual, irregular changes, justifiable on no criterion of social justice or economic expedience, and probably completed only after wasteful and disastrous struggles where those in the weakest bargaining position will suffer relatively to the rest. (Ibid, p. 267) He added that Since each group of workers will gain, cet, par. , by a rise in its own wages, there is naturally for all groups a pressure in this direction. (Ibid , p. 30I) This passage brings strongly to light the symmetry, or rationality, of labour's behaviour.

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