For twenty years before the famous crisis of 1976 Britain was a regular borrower from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Through this lending role, the Fund in these years played a key part in determining the credibility of British policies. Borrowing from the Fund meant that British policy had to be seen as conforming to certain norms, but these norms were always negotiable, albeit within shifting limits. This article uses archival material from London and Washington to examine these processes of negotiation, showing how far British policy was shaped by the desires of the IMF, and how far it was able to maintain autonomy in national economic policy
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