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By A. L. Keith Acheson, John F. Chant, Martin F. J. Prachowny (eds.)

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Additional info for Bretton Woods Revisited: Evaluations of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Example text

One, I believe, was the decision, taken at the Savannah Conference two years after Bretton Woods at the insistence of Fred Vinson, the us secretary of the Treasury, to have full-time executive directors. As a result of this decision, we have a rather inadequate system for managing our international monetary affairs. There are the annual meetings of the Fund in which the responsible decision-makers get together for a week, and they pass a lot of resolutions; but with more than one hundred countries represented, the amount of real business that can be done is limited.

The French used growing gold reserves to support an independent economic and political role, with little heed to co-operation through the Fund. ) The Germans were equally reluctant to accept the Fund's concept of creditor-country responsibility. As they face the 1970s, therefore, the United States,Britain, Canada, and other countries are still struggling with the difficult adjustment issue they confronted at Bretton Woods a quarter of a century ago. The United States is seeking to improve its payments position by a total of about $10 billion a year.

The us wanted an environment in which American trade could expand - in which the comparative advantage of the United States in key sectors could make its impact, free from unreasonable burdens and restrictions. The Political Setting 23 Still another element- one that looks particularly curious in retrospectwas the strong feeling of many of the New Dealers against bankers. ) The close collaboration between central bankers and governments that has characterized the postwar period was neither foreseen nor even encouraged by the wartime planners.

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