Nowe formy agresywnego merkantylizmu? Polityka dewizowo-kursowa w Polsce (1945–1947)
NEW FORMS OF AGGRESSIVE MERCANTILISM? THE FOREIGN CURRENCY RATE POLICY IN POLAND (1945-1947)
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Mercantilist practices applied from the onset of the modern era consisted of improving commercial and monetary instruments enabling the achievement of the targets formulated by the state. The twentieth century, in the wake of the destabilisation produced by World War I and the Great Depression, witnessed the introduction of assorted forms of mercantilism, employed for aggressive purposes in Germany during the 1930s. Some of the German solutions were subsequently used in Poland, rather due to economic necessity (trade and financial obligations) than emulation. This process involved also the introduction of trade reglamentation, the clearing system, and a ban on an unhampered foreign currency turnover at home and abroad. These regulations remained in force during the post-war period. In the then prevailing difficult economic situation, the Polish financial authorities (the ministry of finance and the central bank) treated neo-mercantilism as a 'normal' and objectively justified phenomenon. At the same time, it was assumed that neo-mercantilism could be regarded as a temporary solution and that the progressing stabilisation of the economy would turn it in a direction outlined by international financial institutions. The geopolitical situation, however, decided otherwise. The evolution of the economic system imposed upon Poland and other countries of East-Central Europe by the USSR was the reason why aggressive mercantilism became the weapon of economic and ideological rivalry with the West.
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