American default: the untold story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the battle over gold

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Publisher:
Princeton University Press,
Pub. Date:
2018.
Language:
English
Description

The untold story of how FDR did the unthinkable to save the American economy

The American economy is strong in large part because nobody believes that America would ever default on its debt. Yet in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt did just that, when in a bid to pull the country out of depression, he depreciated the U.S. dollar in relation to gold, effectively annulling all debt contracts. American Default is the story of this forgotten chapter in America's history.

Sebastian Edwards provides a compelling account of the economic and legal drama that embroiled a nation already reeling from global financial collapse. It began on April 5, 1933, when FDR ordered Americans to sell all their gold holdings to the government. This was followed by the abandonment of the gold standard, the unilateral and retroactive rewriting of contracts, and the devaluation of the dollar. Anyone who held public and private debt suddenly saw its value reduced by nearly half, and debtors--including the U.S. government—suddenly owed their creditors far less. Revaluing the dollar imposed a hefty loss on investors and savers, many of them middle-class American families. The banks fought back, and a bitter battle for gold ensued. In early 1935, the case went to the Supreme Court. Edwards describes FDR's rancorous clashes with conservative Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a confrontation that threatened to finish the New Deal for good—and that led to FDR's attempt to pack the court in 1937.

At a time when several major economies never approached the brink of default or devaluing or recalling currencies, American Default is a timely account of a little-known yet drastic experiment with these policies, the inevitable backlash, and the ultimate result.

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ISBN:
9780691161884
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 59dfb1d2-b531-3ce4-6b0a-552b34cc8819
Grouping Title american default the untold story of fdr the supreme court and the battle over gold
Grouping Author edwards sebastian
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-13 04:48:36AM
Last Indexed 2019-06-24 04:52:06AM

Solr Details

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author Edwards, Sebastian, 1953-
author_display Edwards, Sebastian
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display_description "The untold story of how FDR did the unthinkable to save the American economy.The American economy is strong in large part because nobody believes that America would ever default on its debt. Yet in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt did just that, when in a bid to pull the country out of depression, he depreciated the U.S. dollar in relation to gold, effectively annulling all debt contracts. American Default is the story of this forgotten chapter in America's history.Sebastian Edwards provides a compelling account of the economic and legal drama that embroiled a nation already reeling from global financial collapse. It began on April 5, 1933, when FDR ordered Americans to sell all their gold holdings to the government. This was followed by the abandonment of the gold standard, the unilateral and retroactive rewriting of contracts, and the devaluation of the dollar. Anyone who held public and private debt suddenly saw its value reduced by nearly half, and debtors--including the U.S. government--suddenly owed their creditors far less. Revaluing the dollar imposed a hefty loss on investors and savers, many of them middle-class American families. The banks fought back, and a bitter battle for gold ensued. In early 1935, the case went to the Supreme Court. Edwards describes FDR's rancorous clashes with conservative Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a confrontation that threatened to finish the New Deal for good--and that led to FDR's attempt to pack the court in 1937.At a time when several major economies never approached the brink of default or devaluing or recalling currencies, American Default is a timely account of a little-known yet drastic experiment with these policies, the inevitable backlash, and the ultimate result."--
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record_details ils:.b20451933|Book|Books||English|Princeton University Press,|2018.|xxxiii, 252 pages : black ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Default (Finance), Depreciation -- United States -- History -- 20th century, New Deal, 1933-1939
title_display American default : the untold story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the battle over gold
title_full American default : the untold story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the battle over gold / Sebastian Edwards
title_short American default :
title_sub the untold story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the battle over gold