Artwork for podcast Top Traders Unplugged
IL13: A Biography of the Dollar ft. Perry Mehrling
1st February 2023 • Top Traders Unplugged • Niels Kaastrup-Larsen
00:00:00 01:10:01

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Today, Perry Mehrling, Economist and internationally recognized expert on our monetary system, joins us to talk about his new book: “Money and Empire: Charles P. Kindleberger and the Dollar System”. Perry’s book is a “biography of the dollar” told through the life “Charlie” Kindleberger, an economist who helped craft the Marshall Plan and spent his life studying and writing about the best way to organize international money. We discuss why Charlie thought the world needs a “key currency” and how the Fed - reluctantly and slowly - grew to support the dollar as it took on that role. Perry explains why the dollar system has proved so resilient. We finish the talk with an examination of two of the Fed’s most important tools - QE and swap lines and discuss why one supports the system while the other might undermine it. 


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Episode TimeStamps:

02:27 - Introduction to Perry Mehrling and Charles Kindleberger

10:03 - What is the Sterling System?

15:01 - Establishing a central bank

23:35 - The impact of World War 2

31:32 - What does it take to be a key currency country?

48:53 - Fed - From lender to dealer

54:49 - Are swap lines structured the right way?

01:01:14 - War in Ukraine - what would Charlie have thought?

01:04:25 - Book recommendations

01:07:43 - Key takeaways from Niels

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