Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy (2011)

mitchell

As the producer states gradually forced the major oil companies to share with them more of the profits from oil, increasing quantities of sterling and dollars flowed to the Middle East. To maintain the balance of payments and the viability of the international financial system, Britain and the United States needed a mechanism for these currency flows to be returned. This was especially a problem for the US, since the value of the dollar was fixed in relation to gold, and provided the basis for the Bretton Woods financial system. Arms were particularly suited to this task of financial recycling, for their acquisition was not limited by their usefulness (155)

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