The Return of Dollar Shortages. Carmen Reinhart, October 24, 2016, Opinion, “Immediately after World War II ended, a new phrase entered the economic lexicon: “dollar shortage.” European economies were coping with extensive war-related damage and a broad array of impediments to their efforts to rebuild their industrial base. At the time, the United States was the only provider of capital equipment for reconstruction. So, without access to US dollars, Europe’s economies could not obtain the inputs needed to increase their exports.Link