What Was The Bretton Woods Agreement

As chief international economist at the U.S. Treasury, Harry Dexter White designed the U.S. Cash Access Project in 1942/44, which rivaled Keynes`s plan for the British Treasury. Overall, White`s system tended to favour incentives to create price stability in the world`s economies, while Keynes wanted a system that promoted economic growth. The ”collective agreement was a huge international undertaking,” which took two years before the conference to prepare for it. It consisted of numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings to find a common basis for determining the policies that would be behind the Bretton Woods system. Despite its name, the World Bank has not been (and is) not the central bank of the world. At the time of the Bretton Woods agreement, the World Bank was created to lend to European countries devastated by the Second World War. The World Bank`s focus has changed in lending to economic development projects in emerging countries. The Bretton Woods countries have decided not to give the IMF the power of a global central bank. Instead, they agreed to contribute to a solid pool of national currencies and gold, which would be held by the IMF. Each member country of the Bretton Woods system then had the right to borrow as part of its dues, which it needed. The IMF was also responsible for implementing the Bretton Woods agreement.

It expected that a new gold production would suffice. In the event of a structural imbalance, it expected national solutions, such as adjusting monetary value or improving a country`s competitive position by other means. However, the IMF had few resources to promote such national solutions. The Bretton Woods system is a series of uniform rules and guidelines that have provided the framework for the creation of fixed international exchange rates. Essentially, the agreement called on the new IMF to set the fixed exchange rate for currencies around the world. Each country represented assumed responsibility for maintaining the exchange rate, with incredibly narrow margins above and below. Countries struggling to stay within the fixed exchange rate window could ask the IMF for an adjustment in interest rates for which all allied countries would then be responsible. There was broad consensus 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.

In early 1945, Bernard Baruch described the spirit of Bretton Woods as follows: ”If we can put an end to labour subsidies and southerly competition in export markets” and prevent the reconstruction of war machines, ”… Oh, my boy, my boy, what long-term prosperity we`re going to have. [20] The United States therefore uses its position of influence to reopen and control the [rules] of the global economy, in order to allow unfettered access to markets and materials of all nations. The Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 introduced a new global monetary system. It replaced the gold standard with the U.S. dollar as the global currency. It thus established America as a dominant power in the global economy. After the agreement was signed, America was the only country capable of printing dollars. The United States has put in place the European Economic Recovery Plan (Marshall Plan) to provide significant financial and economic assistance to the reconstruction of Europe, mainly through subsidies rather than loans. The member countries of the Soviet bloc, for example.

B Poland, were invited to receive the subsidies, but obtained a favorable agreement with the COMECON of the Soviet Union. [31] In a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947

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