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Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.


In July 1944 at a hotel resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire the world’s basis for international trade was determined at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. This was the outcome of the allied powers all having been through the Great Depression and wishing to prevent a reoccurrence.

One of the key points to the conference was the establishment of the International Monetary Fund. The Fund was developed to stabilize exchange rates and create a pool of money for countries to borrow from when they had payment imbalances from more money leaving the country than being brought in. This was created to try and reestablish international trade that had been damaged by war. Many claim it causes more damage than good, and at times can be viewed as a form on monetary colonialism.

The other institution that came out of  the conference was the World Bank. It has changed its focus several times since its inception but started out to rebuild France after the war until the Marshall Plan took that role over. It also has been  involved in poverty reduction for many years. The Bank now focuses  helping countries develop a strategy to become self sufficient and economically viable for foreign investment. It also has been  viewed as a form of monetary imperialism at times.

 

Can we still afford this? 

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