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Central Banks and GoldHow Tokyo, London, and New York Shaped the Modern World$
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Simon James Bytheway and Mark Metzler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704949

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704949.001.0001

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Wall Street Discovers Japan, Spring 1920

Wall Street Discovers Japan, Spring 1920

(p.79) 5 Wall Street Discovers Japan, Spring 1920
Central Banks and Gold

Simon James Bytheway

Mark Metzler

Cornell University Press

This chapter recounts the spring of 1920, when three of Wall Street's top bankers—Thomas W. Lamont of J.P. Morgan & Company, Frank A. Vanderlip of National City Bank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York—made their own separate visits to Japan, which had suddenly emerged as a new financial power. These bankers, all ambitious to build a new world more open to American business, had already crossed paths the year before in London and Paris, where they were involved in planning postwar European affairs. Their Tokyo tour of 1920 was thus a follow-on to a European tour in 1919. Wall Street financiers subsequently became key actors in shaping US-Japan relations during the decade of the 1920s. Financially speaking, this was the beginning of Japan's first “American” age. However, this era ended abruptly and violently in the autumn and winter of 1931–32.

Keywords:   Wall Street bankers, Thomas W. Lamont, Frank A. Vanderlip, Benjamin Strong, US-Japan relations, J.P. Morgan & Company, National City Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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