In his time as a Treasury official in the 1960s he had laboured to maintain the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944, which had built an international monetary system round pegging the dollar to gold at $35 an ounce. When this began to founder he went along with a temporary suspension and then, in 1973, with decisive decoupling, but longed for some system of fixed exchange rates.
Instead, the dollar was allowed to float. To him floating exchange rates were fundamentally dangerous, an open invitation to countries to manipulate their currencies— and so inherently unstable that they undermined the stability of governments, too. It was probably his wartime adolescence that made him yearn for such a rules-based world. But in so far as he managed to impose rules himself, they were a success. After 1983 the economy mostly grew without inflation and political leaders, by and large, learned to defer to the central bank on monetary policy.
What worried him more as the years passed was a growing lack of trust in and respect for institutions in general, from the Supreme Court to Congress to the presidency. America sometimes seemed to be in a mess in every direction. Every direction, that was, except the coast of Florida, where he might get a big plump tarpon on his line, or the sparkling, ever-beckoning salmon rivers of Maine.