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“A SUPERIOR PRACTICAL MAN”: SIR HENRY STRAKOSCH, THE GOLD STANDARD AND MONETARY POLICY DEBATES IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1920–23

“A SUPERIOR PRACTICAL MAN”: SIR HENRY STRAKOSCH, THE GOLD STANDARD AND MONETARY POLICY DEBATES IN... Although enjoying some de jure independence, South Africa in the year of the SARB's establishment, 1921, was by no means a de facto independent country, being tied in important ways to Britain. However, by the end of the First World War, it was clear that British imperial power was on the decline almost everywhere. As the British real economy declined, the power elite in Britain had begun to focus its attention on maintaining London as the centre of the world's financial system, painfully aware that the financial sector was the last sector of the economy in which Britain still maintained some level of relative dominance. It is in this global context that a naturalized British expert, Mr (later Sir) Henry Strakosch, was appointed by the ‘pro-British’ Smuts government to advise on various monetary issues in South Africa, including the establishment of the South African Reserve Bank. Later, upon its establishment another Briton, Clegg, was appointed its first Governor. In contrast the Pact government headed by Smuts rival, Barry Hertzog, later appointed an American and a Dutchman to lead their commission of enquiry into monetary questions. This research review seeks to throw some light on the first of these ‘foreign’ experts, Henry Strakosch. So who was Strakosch and why did he have such an enormous impact on South African monetary policy? http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economic History of Developing Regions Taylor & Francis

“A SUPERIOR PRACTICAL MAN”: SIR HENRY STRAKOSCH, THE GOLD STANDARD AND MONETARY POLICY DEBATES IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1920–23

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References (25)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Economic History Society of Southern Africa
ISSN
2078-0397
eISSN
2078-0389
DOI
10.1080/20780389.2011.586411
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although enjoying some de jure independence, South Africa in the year of the SARB's establishment, 1921, was by no means a de facto independent country, being tied in important ways to Britain. However, by the end of the First World War, it was clear that British imperial power was on the decline almost everywhere. As the British real economy declined, the power elite in Britain had begun to focus its attention on maintaining London as the centre of the world's financial system, painfully aware that the financial sector was the last sector of the economy in which Britain still maintained some level of relative dominance. It is in this global context that a naturalized British expert, Mr (later Sir) Henry Strakosch, was appointed by the ‘pro-British’ Smuts government to advise on various monetary issues in South Africa, including the establishment of the South African Reserve Bank. Later, upon its establishment another Briton, Clegg, was appointed its first Governor. In contrast the Pact government headed by Smuts rival, Barry Hertzog, later appointed an American and a Dutchman to lead their commission of enquiry into monetary questions. This research review seeks to throw some light on the first of these ‘foreign’ experts, Henry Strakosch. So who was Strakosch and why did he have such an enormous impact on South African monetary policy?

Journal

Economic History of Developing RegionsTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 1, 2011

Keywords: Strakosch; monetary history; British imperial monetary policy; South African Reserve Bank; N27

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