Gilding the Waves: Gold Smuggling and Monetary Policies Around the Arabian Sea, 1939–1967

  • Johan Mathew
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


This chapter examines colonial and post-colonial monetary policies in the Arabian Sea in the middle decades of the twentieth century and their circumvention through gold smuggling. Mathew delineates the diasporic financial networks that connected populations around the coasts of the Arabian Sea and the British banks and imperial monetary systems that tried to govern their transactions. Then the chapter moves through the Second World War and the period of decolonization to show how these merchant networks continued to subvert monetary policies, forced post-colonial governments to reform their policies and ultimately helped to hasten the end of the Sterling Area in the 1960s.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Mathew
    • 1
  1. 1.History DepartmentRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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