The shift from sterling to the dollar 1965-76 : evidence from Australia and New Zealand

SINGLETON, John and SCHENK, Catherine (2015). The shift from sterling to the dollar 1965-76 : evidence from Australia and New Zealand. Economic History Review, 68 (4), 1154-1176.

Singleton Shift from sterling to dollar.pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (528kB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Acceptance e-mail)
Singleton 11040.pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (104kB)
Official URL:
Link to published version::


The management of foreign exchange reserves has recently attracted attention from both policy-makers and historians. Historical research has focussed on the nineteenth century and the interwar period, with less attention to the strategies of smaller countries in the final transition from sterling to the dollar in the post-1945 period. This article examines the evolution of reserve currency policy from the perspective of Australia and New Zealand in the 1960s and early 1970s. As in the 1930s, economic uncertainty and a shift in global economic power prompted changes in reserves strategy. Patterns of trade and debt and falling confidence in British economic policy prompted a move away from sterling, but the timing and extent of this transition were affected by the fragility of the sterling exchange rate, lack of alternative assets, and continued dependence on the London capital market. The choices for Australia and New Zealand were thus constrained, but they were able to leverage their position as holders of sterling to engage in agreements that provided an exchange rate guarantee for their sterling holdings and continued access to the London capital market. This mitigated the effect of the final global transition from sterling to the dollar while protecting their interests.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1154-1176
Depositing User: John Singleton
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 12:23
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 04:54

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics