The Bretton Woods rules, set out in the treaty articles of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), provide for a system of fixed exchange rates. The rules also aimed to promote an open system by requiring members to convert their respective currencies into other currencies and to free trade. But since the 1944 agreement was born out of a global crisis, there are signs that the current crisis could lead to the birth of a new world order. Last week`s speech by Kristalina Georgieva, the current managing director of the IMF, entitled „A New Bretton Woods Moment“, could indicate that once the dust of the 2020 health and economic crisis has subsided, the powers may be thinking about a new way of doing things. What could be considered and what will it mean? The agreement does not provide for the creation of international reserves. She thought that a new production of gold would be enough. In the event of structural imbalances, it expected national solutions, such as an adjustment in monetary value or an improvement in a country`s competitive position by other means. However, the IMF has had little capacity to promote such domestic solutions. The first Bretton Woods Conference, in 1944, established the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency linked to the price of gold.

The agreement aimed to prevent competitive currency devaluations and promote international economic growth. The IMF has attempted to provide for periodic discontinuous exchange rate adjustments (changes in a member`s nominal value) through an international agreement. Member States were allowed to adjust their exchange rate by 1%. This tended to restore the balance of their trade by increasing their exports and reducing imports. This would only be permissible in the event of a fundamental imbalance. A decrease in the value of a country`s money has been called a devaluation, while an increase in the value of the country`s money has been called a revaluation. The United States launched the European Economic Recovery Plan (Marshall Plan) to provide significant financial and economic assistance for the reconstruction of Europe, mainly through grants, not loans. Countries that are part of the Soviet bloc, for example. B Poland, were invited to receive the subsidies, but obtained a favourable agreement with the COMECON of the Soviet Union. [31] In a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, U.S.

Secretary of State George Marshall said that the Bretton Woods system was a huge change in the global economic system. The 1944 Agreement established centralized rules for monetary management between Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada and a number of Western European countries. In fact, after World War II, the world economy was in ruins, so 730 delegates from 44 allied nations gathered in New Hampshire at a hotel called Bretton Woods. The group was led by British Representative John Maynard Keynes and US Treasury official Harry Dexter White. Many historians believe that the Bretton Woods meeting behind closed doors centralized the entire financial system of the world. As chief international economist at the U.S. Treasury, Harry Dexter White designed in 1942-44 the International Liquidity Access Plan, which competed with Keynes` plan for the British Treasury. Overall, White`s scheme tended to favour incentives to bring price stability to global economies, while Keynes wanted a system that promoted economic growth. The „collective agreement was a huge international undertaking“ for which it was prepared two years before the conference. These were numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings to find common ground on the policy of the Bretton Woods system. .

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