What Was The Bretton Woods Agreement And System

The agreement created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), U.S.-backed organizations, to oversee the new system. Members of the Bretton Woods system agreed to avoid trade wars. But they could regulate their currencies under certain conditions. For example, they could take action if foreign direct investment began to destabilize their economies. They could also adjust their monetary values to rebuild after a war. When many of the same experts who observed the 1930s became the architects of a unique new postwar system at Bretton Woods, their guiding principles became “more a beggar in your neighbour” and “the currents of control of speculative financial capital.” It was desirable to avoid a repeat of this process of competition devaluation, but in a way that would not force debtor countries to reduce their industrial base by keeping interest rates high enough to attract foreign bank deposits. John Maynard Keynes, who refrained from repeating the Great Depression, supported the British proposal to force surplus nations to import from debtor countries, either to import from debtor countries, to debtor countries or to debtor countries. [10] [11] The United States rejected Keynes` plan and a senior U.S. Treasury official, Harry Dexter White, rejected Keynes` proposals for an International Monetary Fund with sufficient resources to counter destabilizing flows of speculative financing. [12] However, unlike the modern IMF, White`s proposed fund would have automatically countered dangerous speculative currents, without political strings being made – that is, no IMF conditionality. [13] Economic historian Brad Delong writes that Keynes was then proved by events at almost every point where he was rejected by the Americans. [14] [14] [Doubtful – Discuss] Even on the basis of the experience of the interwar period, American planners developed a concept of economic security – that a liberal international economic system would improve post-war peace opportunities.

One of those who saw such a security link was Cordell Hull, the US Secretary of State from 1933 to 1944. [Notes 1] Hull believed that the main causes of the two world wars were economic discrimination and trade war. Hull argued that there was a high degree of convergence among powerful nations, that the lack of exchange rate coordination during the interwar period had exacerbated political tensions. This facilitated the decisions of the Bretton Woods conference. In addition, all the Bretton Woods governments agreed that the monetary chaos of the interwar period had brought some valuable lessons. b) The Federal Reserve system has concluded a series of monetary sweaas agreements with central banks in Western Europe, Canada and Japan.

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