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Episode 552: The Dollar At The Center Of The World

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As World War 2 was ending, world leaders realized they had a problem. Countries no longer knew how to trade with each other. Their economies were devastated. So representatives from 44 nations gathered in the small town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to come up with the solution.

It came down to two different plans put forward by two very different men. One was the most famous economist in the world. A British aristocrat. The other was an American that no one remembers. But it was the American that won the day and put the U.S. dollar right in the middle of world trade.

Today on the show, how the US won. The story involves a carefully laid trap, late night dancing and copious amounts of alcohol.

Music: Mickey & Sylvia's "Lover Boy." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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