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When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy
When Washington Shut Down Wall Street unfolds like a mystery story. It traces Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo's triumph over a monetary crisis at the outbreak of World War I that threatened the United States with financial disaster. The biggest gold outflow in a generation imperiled America's ability to repay its debts abroad. Fear that the United States would ...more
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published January 22nd 2007 by Princeton University Press
(first published January 2nd 2007)
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A remarkably in-depth look at a few months in 1914, which shows what strong financial leadership in a crisis can do to protect a nation's economy and its global standing.
The book begins by taking issue with the conventional interpretation of the longest shut-down of Wall Street in U.S. history, which began on July 31st, 1914 and lasted for almost four months. Most books that even mention it will claim it was done to stop a run on the stock market when war was breaking out in Europe. Silber ...more
In 1914, the US secretary of the treasury, William McAdoo, closed the New York stock exchange for 4 months? How crazy is that? The reason was to stave off the flight of gold to London after the start of WWI. McAdoo frantically tried all kinds of other stuff too. The best part was how this was all explained. Gold left the US for London because of a differential of a few cents in the exchange rates and the fact that gold would be sold for a fixed price in the local currency. Plus the insurance. ...more