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By Peter Curwen (eds.)

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Friedman argued, in particular, that the role of monetary policy during the Great Depression had been widely misunderstood. The orthodox version of events held that the US monetary authorities had pursued aggressively expansionary monetary policies between 1929 and 1933, but that these policies had proved ineffectual. Friedman, on the other hand, contended that the monetary authorities had pursued highly deflationary policies. According to his research, the quantity of money in the USA fell by one-third during the course of the Depression, thereby providing clear evidence that monetary policy was extremely effective in regulating the level of economic actitvity, rather than the reverse.

Consumption spending rises in the UK, creating additional demand of which part leaks out into imports. In order to purchase these it is necessary to change sterling into the currency of the seller, which causes the exchange rate to fall against that currency. It is a matter of necessity, frorrt a book-keeping perspective, that the balance of payments accounts sum to zero (see p. 189), so a current account deficit must be exactly counterbalanced by a net inflow of capital. 3 23 The External Sector SUBSIDIES --------...

No matter how healthy the underlying economy, the UK cannot expect to grow much - if at all - at a time when other advanced economies are sliding into recession. More generally, the government may find itself in a losing battle with the forces of the market place. The government may, for example, wish to see the exchange rate rise, but if the foreign exchange market wishes to see the exchange rate fall that may well prove to be the ultimate outcome. To sum up this brief discussion, the overall picture with respect to the UK is that it has a political system with enormous potential power to direct economic policy.

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