Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann
Chapter 6: World War I
Keynes’s second period as a civil servant was in the Treasury from January 1915 to May 1919, when he resigned over the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. He had already been called on for advice at the outbreak of World War I. This chapter describes first his advice in the August 1914 financial crisis; then his role in the finance division of the Treasury, where he was especially concerned with external finance and was, with Sir Robert Chalmers, in charge of day-to-day operations to maintain the US dollar exchange rate at its wartime peg of $4.76 7/16; it also describes his involvement in the “Cunliffe crisis”, the tussle between the Governor of the Bank of England (Cunliffe) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Bonar Law) in July 1917.
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