Most accounts of the economic crisis that has afflicted the West since the mid-seventies treat problems of the international monetary system as a by-product of the recession. Riccardo Parboni argues on the contrary that turmoil in international finance has been a major cause of the inflation and recession that show every sign of persisting well into the eighties. Intensified competition between industrialized countries led to the destruction of the Bretton Woods system, which had ensured world monetary stability since the end of the Second World War, as the US government sought to halt the decline of the American economy. Parboni analyses the functioning and effects of the new 'dollar standard' of floating exchange rates. examining such issues as the devaluation of the dollar; the oil crisis; the conflict between the United States and Germany and its effects on the European economy; the structure of European finance, from the 'snake' to the European Monetary System. The book concludes with a description of the structural changes in the world market during the seventies, particularly the rapid development of some Third World countries and their dependence on international loans. Perhaps the only book of its kind, The Dollar and Its Rivals presents the complexities of International finance thoroughly yet in a manner comprehensible to non-specialists.