Topics: Bretton Woods system, Foreign exchange market, Exchange rate Pages: 2 (434 words) Published: May 23, 2014


1. Explain Gresham’s Law.

Answer: Gresham’s law refers to the phenomenon that bad (abundant) money drives good (scarce) money out of circulation. The phenomenon was often observed under the bimetallic standard under which both gold and silver were used as means of payments, with the exchange rate between the two metals fixed.

2. Explain the mechanism which restores the balance-of-payments equilibrium when it is disturbed under the gold standard.

Answer: The adjustment mechanism under the gold standard is referred to as the price-specie-flow mechanism expounded by David Hume. Under the gold standard, a balance of payment disequilibrium will be corrected by a counter-flow of gold. Suppose that the US imports more from the UK than it exports to the latter. Under the classical gold standard gold is the only means to settle international payments. Since in our example the US owes money to the UK gold must flow from the U.S. to the UK As a result, the US (UK) will experience a corresponding decrease (increase) in money supply. This means that the price level will tend to fall in the US and rise in the UK Consequently, US products become more competitive in the export market, while UK products become less competitive. This change will improve US balance of payments and at the same time hurt the UK balance of payments, eventually eliminating the initial BOP disequilibrium.

3. Suppose that the pound is pegged to gold at 6 pounds per ounce, whereas the franc is pegged to gold at 12 francs per ounce. This, of course, implies that the equilibrium exchange rate should be two francs per pound. If the current market exchange rate is 2.2 francs per pound, how would you take advantage of this situation? What would be the effect of shipping costs?

Answer: Suppose that you need to buy 6 pounds using French francs. If you...
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