An analysis of the loan that defined the dollar-denominated economy of the second half of the 20th century and helped start the cold war. After WW2, the British economy had been devastated. The abrupt end of Lend-Lease by President Truman withdrew badly needed American support. Desperate British politicians sent Lord Maynard Keynes to Washington to seek an economic lifeline. The loan that resulted required the convertibility of the pound, the end of the imperial preference system that supported the Empire, and the entry of Britain into the Bretton-Woods institutions. This made the dollar the world's reserve currency, hastened the end of the British Empire, angered the Soviet Union (which wanted, but did not get, a similar loan), and laid the groundwork for the Marshall Plan which would immediately follow.
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