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Case 118 - Renegotiating International Debt: The Young Plan Conference of 1929

Case 118 - Renegotiating International Debt: The Young Plan Conference of 1929

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McNeil, William C.

Because of the growth of their international debt since the end of World War I, the European states suffered recurrent balance-of-payment problems combined with intense pressures on fiscal policy. In the spring of 1929 a conference of experts met to find a way to head off this impending international monetary crisis. The conference produced the Young Plan, named for the chief American participant, Owen Young. This case study is structured around the information available to the actors at the time. It shows how the United States had to decide how active it would be in establishing the new international economic order, and determining what role private bankers would play in the formation of American foreign monetary policy. It also gives students an opportunity to see how limits on information influence the determination of policy options.