University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Financial History Seminar > Poland, the international monetary system and the Bank of England, 1921–1939

Poland, the international monetary system and the Bank of England, 1921–1939

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  • UserWilliam Allen (National Institute of Economic and Social Research)
  • ClockMonday 01 March 2021, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Duncan Needham.

The paper uses archive material, mainly from the Bank of England, to give an account of the relationship between Poland and the international monetary system between 1921 and 1939, as seen from the United Kingdom. It describes the 1923 – 1924 Hilton Young mission of ‘money doctors’ and its role in the establishment of the Bank Polski and the introduction of the zloty in 1924; the abandonment of the zloty’s gold parity in 1925; the tortuous negotiations leading to the stabilisation programme and stabilisation loan of 1927, including the Bank of England’s unsuccessful efforts to induce Poland to accept the oversight of the League of Nations; Poland’s gold purchases after the stabilisation loan; the process of deflation during the Great Depression; the abortive discussions in 1934 – 1936 of the possibility of Danzig, Germany and Poland pegging their exchange rates to sterling; the imposition of exchange restrictions in 1936; debt default in 1937; and the approach of war. It also provides information about the management of Poland’s gold and foreign exchange reserves. The narrative makes clear that it is impossible to understand Poland’s international financial affairs without reference to the international political tensions of the period.

This talk is part of the Financial History Seminar series.

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