International Economic Co-Operation and the World Bank by Robert W. Oliver

By Robert W. Oliver

On December 14, 1945, the home of Commons voted 314 to 50 to ratify the Agreements negotiated at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, approximately a yr and a part prior. Lord Keynes had again from Washington to guard the Fund and the financial institution, of which he and Harry White have been the crucial authors, in addition to to justify an American mortgage to Britain - following President Harry S. Truman's abrupt postwar determination to terminate all land-lease guidance to its wartime allies, an occasion which caused the Conservative MP Robert Boothby, to claim: 'This is our monetary Munich'. this present day, fifty years later, nearly the entire governments of the area became contributors, and the capital subscriptions have elevated many fold. yet questions have arisen. might be the Fund and the financial institution could be merged. a few argue that 50 years are adequate, at the very least for the financial institution. Others think that, whereas enlargement may still proceed, the emphasis will be redirected towards the relief of poverty in Africa and southern Asia. this can be an account of the historical occasions of the interwar years and after. it's also a narrative concerning the liberal philosophies of the political economists, basically British and American, who produced of the good foreign associations of our time.

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69 Even during the depths of the depression, 24 International Economic Co-operation and the World Bank tlus group opposed active attempts by either central banks or governments to expand credit. 60 The solution to the world's ills, according to this group, was to be found, at national levels, in balanced budgets and reductions of costs; and, at the international level, in the removal of trade barriers and the restoration of stable foreign exchange rates through a universal return and adherence to the gold standard.

Pre-war exchange rates were irrelevant after the war, but it would have been difficult to establish correct new gold values and, therefore, fixed exchange rates. This was a major but understood problem after World War II. After World War I the problem was not at all well understood, and the machinery for international cooperation in adjusting exchange rates was not in existence. Some currencies fluctuated freely for years. The franc did not become convertible into gold until 1928, prior to which it declined relative to the pound and the dollar in response to inflation and Reconstruction, Recovery, and Collapse 19 short-term capital outflow, only to rise again somewhat as shortterm funds returned.

Some currencies fluctuated freely for years. The franc did not become convertible into gold until 1928, prior to which it declined relative to the pound and the dollar in response to inflation and Reconstruction, Recovery, and Collapse 19 short-term capital outflow, only to rise again somewhat as shortterm funds returned. For at least three years after 1928, with the further inflow of capital and gold, the franc was undervalued and strong. The mark became stable under special circumstances at a relative value which made sense only as long as Germany could borrow from the United States more than enough to offset reparations payments.

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