The History of the Dollar System From Bretton Woods to QE Infinity, Feat. Luke Gromen

A look at how we went from the Bretton Woods system of gold-backed USD to the QE Infinity of today.

Apr 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:32 a.m. UTC

A look at how we went from the Bretton Woods system of gold-backed U.S. dollars to the Federal Reserve's QE Infinity of today.

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QE infinity from the Fed. Corporate bailouts. Nudgin' UBI. The incredible economic phenomena going on now didn’t happen out of the blue. They are the byproducts of key events spread across the 70-year history of the U.S. dollar-led global monetary system. 

Luke Gromen is the founder of Forest From The Trees, a macro/thematic research firm. In this episode, Luke provides a TL;DR on those key events that got us to where we are today, including: 

  • Bretton Woods and why the world went on a USD-based system rather than John Maynard Keynes' idea for a non-sovereign "bancor" world reserve currency
  • The move to the petrodollar in the 1970s
  • The financialization of commodities that started in the 1980s
  • The monetary policy vacuum after the Cold War ended
  • How a shift in executive compensation rules led to many of today’s problems with Wall Street
  • The export of Treasury bills as a business model
  • The fallout of 2008 globally and domestically
  • The end of Treasury bill buying in 2014
  • Why the Fed is the only sugar daddy left

For more episodes and free early access before our regular 3 p.m. Eastern time releases, subscribe with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, IHeartRadio or RSS.

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