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The Inherent Instability of National Monetary Power in the 21st Century: The Triffin Dilemma Revisited

Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78560-337-2, eISBN: 978-1-78560-336-5

ISSN: 0161-7230

Publication date: 7 January 2016

Abstract

Recent research in mainstream economics, before as well as since the 2008 crisis, has stressed the importance of growing current account imbalances among countries, particularly the imbalances between the United States and some Asian countries. While some have seen in these imbalances proof of the efficient work done by liberalized financial markets, as well as a sign of the great dynamism of the US economy, others have warned about the possible threats to the global economic stability arising from potential speculation against the dollar. These latter writers see the international imbalances as a contemporary version of the Triffin Dilemma. In this paper, we argue that both views are mistaken because they both focus on net capital flows. Recent research suggests, on the contrary, the importance of international gross capital flows related to financial liberalization. However, our argument goes further in order to demonstrate that the analysis of the consequences of international gross capital flows were already at the core of the Triffin dilemma, as well as in wider debates about the inherent instability of the international monetary power of individual countries, before and after World War II.

Keywords

Citation

Barredo-Zuriarrain, J. (2016), "The Inherent Instability of National Monetary Power in the 21st Century: The Triffin Dilemma Revisited", Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 30B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 23-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0161-72302015000030B002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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