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The United States is almost alone among industrial countries in having no monetary standard. It has, that is, no institutionalized guarantee or even explicit objective concerning the purchasing power of its money. Between 1971 and 1990, this was true of most industrial countries but since then almost all others have adopted monetary policy regimes that provide some guide to the future development of the purchasing power of their monies, i.e., some objectives regarding future inflation rates. The eleven countries of Euroland, including all the large economies of Western Europe except the United Kingdom, have a monetary standard as a consequence of the statutes governing the European Central Bank, while the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and several other nations have standards as specified by their adoption of inflation targeting regimes


Presented at the Shadow Open Market Committee meeting, November 2000.