Triffin’s dilemma cannot be called Młynarski’s dilemma, because the latter turned out to be a paradox, which means that these concepts are not identical. Triffin’s dilemma is to some extent an extension of this paradox, because it refers to the problems of the threat to the convertibility of the dollar into gold and the limitation on liquidity of GES countries, but in the sense of choosing between increasing the balance of payments deficit by the United States or reducing it, which ultimately should lead, according to Triffin, to global deflation. On the other hand, Młynarski’s paradox showed that a seemingly inflationary monetary system (depositing the reserves of GES central banks in interest-bearing accounts of GS countries) caused deflation due to the limitation on liquidity of GES countries due to the protectionist practices of the United States (GS).
It should also be emphasised that both theoretical constructions were created in different economic conditions, which clearly influenced the authors’ positions on the disadvantages of the GES system. After the experience of WWI, Młynarski perceived inflation as the main threat to the GES system, which he emphasised in his 1929 paper. The analysis of the causes of the crisis of the 1930s made him believe that the distribution of income in the economy and protectionism (in both cases economic policy errors) caused deflation. On the other hand, Triffin formulated his dilemma based on the experience of deflation, considering it the greatest threat associated with GES. However, reality brought inflation in accordance with the original expectations of Młynarski.
Both authors were in favour of a reform of the GES, which would allow the world to become independent to some extent from the monetary policy of the country issuing the reserve currency. The reform proposed by Młynarski in 1931 boiled down to the cooperation of central banks concentrating around the Bank for International Settlements, created in 1930, while the assumptions of Triffin’s reform concerned the involvement of the International Monetary Fund, existing since 1944, as an institution creating reserve assets of central banks on the basis of their shares. Perhaps Młynarski’s special transactions were an inspiration for the creation of special drawing rights, being a way of converting foreign exchange reserves into gold rights and generating credit for a country with a negative balance of payments.
It is worth emphasising that these two economists differed in their views on the economic theory. Młynarski was a supporter of classical-neoclassical economics with its emphasis on the role of the market mechanism in restoring macroeconomic balance, while Triffin believed that due to the failure of the market, government intervention was necessary. Despite such a fundamental divergence of opinion from the theory, both were critical of the GES system.
Interestingly, Triffin, like Młynarski, studied philosophy before he got down to economics. The impact of Młynarski’s biography on his economic views has been omitted in this study, as an extensive publication by Głowiński on his life entitled “Feliks Młynarski 1884-1972” published in 2012 is available. Thanks to it, it is possible to trace, for example, the evolution of political views of Młynarski, who broke with the environment of the National Democrats, criticising the “noisy anti-Semitism” of Dmowski (Głowiński 2012, p. 257).