A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 26, 2011
“It’s our currency, but it’s your problem” (“It’s our dollar, but it’s your problem”)

Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: John Connally
John Bowden Connally (February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993), was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th Governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in which President Kennedy was assassinated. Connally was seriously wounded during the attack.
Secretary of the Treasury
In 1971, Republican President Nixon appointed the then Democrat Connally as Treasury Secretary.
On taking the treasury post, Connally famously told a delegation of Europeans worried about exchange rate fluctuations that the American dollar “is our currency, but your problem.”
I checked LexisNexis Congressional, and the snippet that Garson found was spoken not by Connally but by Prof. Robert Weintraub of the Univ. of California Santa Barbara Dept. of Economics (in support of Connally).
Google Books
Emergency Loan Guarantee Legislation, Part 2
By U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
Pg. 717 (June 21, 1971):
(Prof. Robert Weintraub of ersity of California Santa Barbara Department of Economics, testifying against Treasury Secretary Connally—ed.)
Sales of the TriStar definitely would add to U.S. trade earnings. But the balance-of-payments problem can’t be solved or significantly alleviated by subsidizing selected exports. In fact, there will be a payments problem of one sort of [sic] another—in the past, a dollar shortage, today a dollar surplus, in the future, who knows—as long as other nations fix their exchange rates in terms of the dollar. It is their problem, not ours. Let them solve it.
12 March 1972, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Crisis Is Back: If Dollar Sinks, Europe Won’t ‘Float’” by Don Cook, pg. 1:
INSTEAD, Treasury Secretary John Connally has refused even to discuss a future return to partial dollar convertibility, the Nixon Administration has budgeted for the greatest government deficit in monetary history and the general attitude in Washington again seems to be to let the rest of the world choke on unwanted dollars—“It’s their problem, not ours.”
(Pg. 2, col. 5—ed.)
In Washington when the monetary crisis broke with the Nixon “defend the dollar” measures last August, the American attitude as reflected by Secretary Connally could pretty well be summarized in two phrases: “It’s their problem, not ours,” “Time is on our side.”
Google Books
The Arena of International Finance
By Charles A. Coombs
New York, NY: Wiley
Pg. 219:
Somewhat accidentally, perhaps, Connally had become the prime spokesman for the doctrine of benign neglect that now reached its fullest flower in the policy slogan: “The dollar is our currency but your problem.”
Google Books
Volumes 20-21
New York University. Institute of Economic Affairs
Pg. 70:
I cannot resist comparing this last sentence with one that Coombs ascribes to his arch-enemy, John Connally: “The dollar is our currency but your problem.”
16 August 1981, New York (NY) Times, “Our Dollar, Their Problem—Again?” by Steven Rattner, pg. F17:
The phrase brings to mind the saying that summed up the Nixon Treasury’s lack of interest in defending the nation’s currency—that the dollar was “our currency, but your problem.”
29 April 1987, New York (NY) Times, “Mr. Baker’s Dimming Luster” by Peter T. Kilborn, pg. D5:
Mr. Baker took over the Treasury in February 1985 from Donald T. Regan, who took Mr. Baker’s job as chief of staff at the White House. Within weeks, he had established an entirely new tone from Mr. Regan’s. During the Regan tenure Germans characterized the former Secretary as saying of the then-high dollar, “It’s our currency and your problem,” and attempts to deal with debtor countries’ problems were left to bank-dictated austerity programs.
Project Syndicate
The Dollar Wars Return
Harold James
Indeed, US monetary expansion had itself become a weapon in the war over exchange rates. High inflation in the US highlighted the exchange-rate problem by showing the instability of the dollar standard. Indeed, Connally called the dollar “our currency but your problem.”
Investments & Pensions Europe
The dollar is our currency, but it’s your problem
07 Oct 2007
At the G-10 Rome meetings held in late 1971 Connally proclaimed to his astonished counterparts, “The dollar is our currency, but it’s your problem,” having the intended consequence of driving yet another nail into the coffin of Bretton Woods and leading in short order to a roughly 20% depreciation of the dollar. The key outcome from Rome was broad agreement to achieve immediate settlement of monetary and trade issues (with the US dropping the 10% import surcharge). The G-10 ministers met again three weeks later at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and came to an essential agreement on exchange rate policies, which Nixon humbly referred to as “the most significant monetary agreement in the history of the world”.
Orange County Register (CA)
Mark Steyn: Road to ruin getting shorter
April 22, 2011|By MARK STEYN
Forty years ago, Treasury Secretary John Connally told Europe that the dollar is “our currency but your problem.” The rest of the world is now inverting the proposition: The dollar is our problem but, in the end, it’s your currency, not ours. In Beijing, in Delhi, in Riyadh, in Rio, the rest of the planet is moving relentlessly toward a post-dollar regime.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Sunday, June 26, 2011 • Permalink

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