The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes
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The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes

Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann

The most influential and controversial economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes was the leading founder of modern macroeconomics, and was also an important historical figure as a critic of the Versailles Peace Treaty after World War I and an architect of the Bretton Woods international monetary system after World War II. This comprehensive Companion elucidates his contributions, his significance, his historical context and his continuing legacy.
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Chapter 6: World War I

Donald Moggridge

Abstract

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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