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Franklin D. Roosevelt, Silver, and China

Milton Friedman
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 100, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 62-83
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138806
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Silver, and China
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Abstract

The silver purchase program, initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt in late 1933 in response to the economically small but politically potent silver bloc, gave a large short-run subsidy to silver producers at the cost of destroying any long-run monetary role for silver. More important, it imposed severe deflation on China, the only major country still on a silver standard, and forced it off the silver standard and on to a fiat standard, which brought forward in time and increased in severity the subsequent wartime inflation and postwar hyperinflation. The silver purchase program thereby contributed, though perhaps only modestly, to the ultimate triumph of the Communists.

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