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John Authers

Gatsby, the Dollar, and Staring Blankly at the World Falling Apart

What if there was a meeting at the Plaza Hotel to air out differences? It’s happened before in truth and fiction, but the money and the will aren’t there for currency markets this time.  

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow enjoying the Jazz Age.

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow enjoying the Jazz Age.

Photograph: Paramount Pictures/Moviepix/Getty

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Thoughts in the currency market are turning toward the Plaza Hotel. The stately pile at the southeast corner of Central Park has a lasting place in American culture as the scene of Tom Buchanan’s confrontation with Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby; in the financial world, it has lasting fame as the place where world finance ministers and central bankers came together in September 1985 to agree on intervening to weaken the dollar against the West German deutsche mark and the Japanese yen. The effect was dramatic (if not as dramatic as Daisy Buchanan’s choice between her husband and her lover):