It was shortly before the end of World War II that the decision was taken to establish the Bretton Woods institutions, namely the International Monetary. The Bretton Woods Institutions are the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They were set up at a meeting of 43 countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA in July Their aims were to help rebuild the shattered postwar economy and to promote international economic cooperation. The Bretton Woods institutions were founded in The World Bank would function as a development tool and the IMF would operate as a mechanism to.


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Origins[ edit ] Bretton woods institutions political basis for the Bretton Woods system was in the confluence of two key conditions: Interwar period[ edit ] There was a high level of agreement among the powerful nations that failure to coordinate exchange rates during the interwar period had exacerbated political tensions.

This facilitated the decisions reached by the Bretton Woods Conference. Furthermore, bretton woods institutions the participating governments at Bretton Woods agreed that the monetary chaos of the interwar period had yielded several valuable lessons.


The experience of World War II was fresh in the minds of public officials. The solution at Versailles for the French, British, and Americans seemed to be "make Germany pay for bretton woods institutions all.

Intransigent insistence by creditor bretton woods institutions for the repayment of Allied war debts and reparations, combined with an inclination to isolationismled to a breakdown of the international financial system and a worldwide economic depression. In the s, international flows of speculative financial capital increased, leading to extremes in balance of payments situations in various European countries and the US.

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The various anarchic and often autarkic protectionist and neo-mercantilist national policies — often bretton woods institutions inconsistent — that emerged over the first half of the decade worked inconsistently and self-defeatingly to promote national import substitutionincrease national exports, divert foreign investment and trade flows, and even prevent certain categories bretton woods institutions cross-border trade and investment outright.

Global central bankers attempted to manage the situation by meeting with each other, but their understanding of the situation as well as difficulties in communicating internationally, hindered their abilities.

Bretton Woods system - Wikipedia

Britain in the s had an exclusionary trading bloc with nations of the British Empire known as the " Sterling Area ". Bretton woods institutions Britain imported more than it exported to nations such as South Africa, South African recipients of pounds sterling tended to put them into London banks.

This meant that though Britain was running a trade deficit, it had a financial account surplus, and payments balanced. Increasingly, Britain's positive balance of payments required keeping the wealth of Empire bretton woods institutions in British banks.

One incentive for, say, South African holders of rand to park their wealth in London and to keep the money in Sterling, was a strongly valued pound sterling.

Unfortunately, as Britain deindustrialized in the s, the way out of the trade deficit was to devalue the currency. But Britain couldn't devalue, or the Empire surplus would leave its banking system. Germany forced trading partners with a surplus to spend that surplus importing products from Germany.

Preventing a repetition of this bretton woods institutions of competitive devaluations was bretton woods institutions, but in a way that would not force debtor nations to contract their industrial bases by keeping interest rates at a level high enough to attract foreign bank deposits.

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John Maynard Keyneswary of repeating the Great Depressionwas behind Britain's proposal that surplus nations be forced by a "use-it-or-lose-it" mechanism, to either import bretton woods institutions debtor nations, build factories in debtor nations or donate to debtor nations.

Treasury, Harry Dexter Whiterejected Keynes' proposals, in favor of an International Monetary Fund with enough resources to counteract destabilizing flows of speculative finance.


The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, — and How to Prevent a Currency War ; in particular, devaluations today are viewed with more nuance. Bretton woods institutions Bernanke 's opinion on the subject follows: For a variety bretton woods institutions reasons, including a desire of the Federal Reserve to curb the U.

What was initially a mild deflationary process began to snowball when the banking and currency crises of instigated an international "scramble for gold".

Sterilization of gold inflows by surplus countries [the U. Monetary contractions in turn were strongly associated with falling prices, output and employment. Effective international cooperation could in principle have permitted a worldwide monetary expansion despite gold standard constraints, but disputes over World Bretton woods institutions I reparations and war debts, and the insularity and inexperience of the Federal Reserveamong other factors, prevented this outcome.

As a result, individual countries were able to escape the deflationary vortex only by unilaterally abandoning the gold standard and re-establishing domestic monetary stability, a bretton woods institutions that dragged on in a halting and uncoordinated manner until France and the other Gold Bloc countries finally left gold in Bernanke In at Bretton Woods, as a result of the collective conventional wisdom of the time,[ citation needed ] representatives from all the leading allied nations collectively favored a regulated system of fixed exchange rates, indirectly disciplined by a US dollar tied to gold[ citation needed ]—a system that relied on a regulated market economy with tight controls on the values of currencies.

Bretton Woods system

Flows of speculative international finance were curtailed by shunting them through and limiting them via central banks. This meant that international flows of investment bretton woods institutions into foreign direct investment FDI —i.

Although the national experts disagreed to some degree on the specific implementation of this system, all agreed on the need for tight controls.