A sudden and unpredictable event which has a substantial economic and market impact due to its effect on supply or demand factors. For example, the Nixon Shock of 1971 unilaterally removed the U.S. dollar from the gold standard by ceasing its convertibility. This unexpected event ultimately brought down the entire Bretton Woods system of fixed forex rates that had operated since the end of World War II and ushered in a new era of floating forex rates.
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