Overview Of The Bretton Woods System Economics Essay

An thought for a model to stabilise universe ‘s fiscal system came after the Second World War. The biggest planetary economic systems wanted to retrieve from war and keep fiscal stableness in order to avoid another great depression. Therefore, in July 1944, delegates from 44 states met in Bretton Woods USA. The consequence of that meeting was set uping the International Monetary Fund, World Bank ( The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ) and besides a stable international pecuniary system as an effectual method to advance free international trade.

The system was supposed to convey stableness by maintaining exchange rates between currencies fixed. This would be achieved by ‘pegging ‘ each currency to a modesty currency. At the petition of the US and besides because of the ground that it was a dominant economic and military power, the US Dollar was made the modesty currency. From the underside of the concatenation, each currency was ‘pegged ‘ to the US Dollar and 1 % fluctuation on each side was allowed. US Dollar was pegged to Gold at $ 35 per ounce. The US authorities committed to interchange dollars for gold at that rate, which along with the strength and credibleness of the US economic system made the dollar every bit good as gold. This eliminated the job which was faced by the Gold Standard System since publishing money was much cheaper than happening and excavation limited gold resources.

Fixed exchange rates were supposed to promote and stabilise universe trade. The International Monetary Fund consisted of a fixed pool of national currencies and gold. Its purpose was to pull off single trade shortages so that no deflationary force per unit areas for any currency would originate. If a state experienced a current history shortage and was short of militias it could borrow from the IMF. Should a cardinal economic disequilibrium arise in any state it was allowed to set its currency value by 10 % . Such action would be carried out by the IMF through an international understanding.

The World Bank ( The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ) was chiefly supposed to rush up the recovery of universe ‘s economic system after the war. It had a capitalisation of $ 10 billion and was supposed to loan this money in order to accomplish its end.

After the war, US were running immense balance of payments excesss. Since the dollar became the modesty currency at that place arouse an huge demand for it to flux out of the US economic system. This had to be done since the universe economic system suffered from a enormous dollar deficit. Policymakers alerted the natural province of things and created US balance of payments shortages. This was carried out through the creative activity of recognition installations and grants to the retrieving Europe.

In general Bretton Woods attempted to make stableness by doing the US use the dollar-gold nog to merchandise with developing states for a net income and so utilizing this net income to fund European and Nipponese recovery. These economic systems, turning on the influx of US dollars, would so sell their merchandises to the US and so purchase from the developing states. This triangular trade system reinforced US as the chief state responsible for fiscal stableness.

Bretton Woods achieved its purpose of advancing universe trade and promoting the post-war recovery.

Collapse of the system

Bretton Wood system was a good short tally solution for the international pecuniary system. However, in the long tally it was programmed to fall in based on many failings that the system consisted of.

A major failing of the Bretton Woods system was the dependance of the United States ‘ ability to keep a balanced ratio between its outstanding liabilities and gold stock. If the United States ‘ outstanding liabilities exceed its gold stock, it would take to the fright of the depreciation of the dollar value and therefore impact the contrary values of those states that fixed its exchange rate with the dollar. On the other manus, if U.S. shortages were eliminated, the universe would be deprived of its major beginning of modesty growing, with cheerless effects on universe trade and economic activity. ( Robert, p32 ) . In 1953, U.S. gold militias exceeded foreign liabilities by treble. But dollarization of the universe economic system proceeded apace and the liability/gold ratio became equal by 1964 as the United States inflated its money supply and exported dollars overseas. By the clip President Nixon took office in 1969, debt attributed to the Vietnam War attempt reversed the pecuniary place of the United States. By 1970, foreign liabilities were five times greater than gold militias. By 1960 the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system came under force per unit area when gold traded above its official dollar nog of $ 35 an ounce on the London gold market.

A 2nd failing of the Bretton Woods system was the balance of payments adjustment procedure. When an single state encountered shortages, the job was dealt with on an single footing by supplying recognition, normally through the Fund, instead than reexamining if the balance of payments policies and the purposes of single states were compatible with each other and with a stable international pecuniary system. ( Robert, p32 ) .

A 3rd failing, which was the failure of the system to get by with big unequilibrating capital flows. Both France and Britain had experienced major bad escapes in the 1950 ‘s ; moreover, it was going apparent that involvement rate derived functions could bring on ample motions of capital. The Fund ‘s Articles had assumed that controls would stamp down such flows but in the world, it is non possible for most of states to command capital flows without commanding all international minutess. Leads and slowdowns in commercial payments had already shown up as a powerful disequilibrate force.

However, as the U.S. external shortages additions, the demand on dollar started to transcend the U.S. gold stock, and therefore it finally undermined the ability of the U.S. to keep the exchange rate between the dollar and gold at the rate of $ 35 per ounce. For case, in 1960, the value of U.S. gold stocks at the official para of $ 17.8 billion fell abruptly of the $ 18.7 billion of outstanding liquid foreign dollar claims. To avoid altering the dollar para, many different steps were implemented to get the better of the deficit of dollar. For case, in 1967, the IMF created a installation called “ particular modesty pulling right ” ( SDRs ) in the Fund to supply an option to the dollar in states ‘ militias. The SDRs were implemented to make accounting entries in the IMF histories to settle payments instabilities between members. Furthermore, the IMF besides introduced new methods of ciphering the U.S. balance of payments on the footing of liquidness balances.

Despite all these attempts to safeguard the system, the spread between international claims on dollar and U.S gold stock continued to widen. For case, U.S. gold stocks by 1971 had fallen to merely over $ 10 billion against outstanding claims of more than $ 60 billion. Since, the dollar was enormously overvalued in comparing to gold, in 1971 gold was allowed to drift. However by so the international community lost its religion in the US ability to command its balance of payments shortages and as the gold appreciated more and more states withdrew from the fixed exchange rate understanding. Ultimately in 1973 the Bretton Woods market collapsed and a floating exchange rate government was implemented.

Reasoning on the treatment of the debut of the new version of the system

Discussion is common on the proposal to re-introduce a new version of Bretton Woods System. Bretton forests System is perceived by many to hold achieved its intended authorization after its formation in1944 ( Bordo & A ; Eichengreen, 1993 ) . It was formed to turn to Europeans states ‘ economic jobs brought approximately by World War II which was approaching its terminal. It met its stipulated aims of repairing currency paras by taking US dollar as the modesty currency. Agreement mechanism of Bretton forests of 1944 led to the realisation of pecuniary stableness and Reconstruction of economic system after the war.

Explosion of fiscal crises since 1997 in different parts of the universe has led to fresh calls for reintroduction of Bretton forests System normally termed as Bretton forests II. Recent crises such as autumn of fiscal markets lay off of industries, trade shortages and hyperinflation of energy monetary values many argue may non reoccur if merely Bretton forests System were reintroduced.

In Lyndon LaRouche ‘s call for reintroduction of Bretton forests System, he states that there are five of import stairss that need to be taken in order to forestall future reoccurrence of similar crises that have been realized in the recent yesteryear ( Witzsche, 2003 ) . First, he said there is need to follow a planetary system like Bretton Woods System to retrieve universe trade. Next, authoritiess must non seek to salvage derived functions markets from fall ining but should alternatively protect the people, of import trade in scientific discipline services and difficult trade goods and produce endeavors. He farther asserts that the president of the United States of America should fall in other authoritiess in seting to an terminal the bing pecuniary and fiscal system and alternatively encompass a new system. In add-on, in order for growing and recovery of economic system to be realized, there is demand to protect authoritiess ‘ debts and credits at all cost and besides the production and distribution of indispensable goods and services should non be discontinued at all.

Bretton Woods System reintroduction has received support across the Earth with American economic expert LaRouche ‘s economic policy on Bretton Woods II pulling support from tally, Common wealth of Virginia, European parliament Kentucky of representatives and house of representative of Albania. They are consentaneous in asseverating that reintroduction of a new pecuniary system would make off with the current risky mechanism and therefore stabilise currency values. New Bretton forests System has besides received support from taking politicians like French president, Britain ‘s premier curate and Italian president, terming it a planetary justness motion to turn to the job of capital flow ( Patomaki, 2001 ) . Advocates of the system say there is demand for a new economic system since the current 1 has failed.

Obstacles to the debut of Bretton Wood system

Despite the success of Bretton forests System formed in 1944, there is fright that that a new Bretton Woods might non win. Those who oppose the system argue that it will non be easy to take the currency that can defy fiscal strain. First coming up with the currency that will be the backing currency of universe ‘s currencies among the universe ‘s prima currencies may non be possible as many world powers would desire to exercise their authorization in the universe trade. United State ‘s dollar was chosen to be the exclusive backup currencies when Bretton Woods System was formed. However, due to increase in fiscal strain the system collapsed in 1971. There is fear that such an happening might go on once more as there is no surety which currency can last the storm of rising prices and fiscal strain to debar prostration of the new Bretton forests System.

Harmonizing to Matai ( 2008 ) American was and is still the pillar of fiscal system in the Earth and economic crisis impacting such authorities will dribble down to other states raising fright that such system may non last planetary crises. It is for this ground that many leaders are naming for Bretton Woods System reintroduction so that America ‘s fiscal crisis might non impact other states. But the following pick of currency modesty is a challenge as Euro for illustration is merely a decennary old and can non be trusted as the American dollar. This means therefore it might non be easy on the side of US to allow travel the control it has on the modesty currency ( Haberler, 1953 ) .

The populace is non cognizant about the effectivity of the Bretton forests System and therefore it is likely to miss public support. This can earnestly impact the success of the Bretton forests System greatly because for people to utilize the new currency and exchange rate it must hold the support of the people. There is demand for airing of information about the new system but even if the populace has the information it does non intend they will encompass the system. The system besides faces a challenge of happening a balance of get bying with the complexness the planetary economic system and the ability to extenuate any planetary economic crises ( Boughton & A ; Lateef, 1995 ) .


In decision many view the system as a major solution to the current economic crisis but fright besides reign is some quarters whether the system will non neglect as the former Bretton Woods System. It hence calls for cautiousness and soberness and appropriate steps that can forestall reoccurrence of such dearly-won failures.