However, just as the 1944 agreement emerged from a global crisis, there are signs that the current crisis could lead to the emergence of another new world order. This 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 that may be considering a new way of doing things may well go away. What could be envisaged and what does it mean? The IMF has attempted to provide for exchange rate adjustments from time to time (a change in the face value of a member) by an international agreement. Member States have been allowed to adjust their exchange rates by 1%. This trend has been to restore the balance of trade by increasing exports and reducing imports. This would only be permissible if there was a fundamental imbalance. A depreciation of a country`s money was described as a devaluation, while an increase in the value of the country`s money was described as an appreciation. There was broad consensus among powerful nations that the lack of exchange rate coordination during the interwar period had exacerbated political tensions. This facilitated the decisions of the Bretton Woods conference. In addition, all the Bretton Woods governments agreed that the monetary chaos of the interwar period had brought some valuable lessons. 730 delegates from the 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, also known as the Bretton Woods Conference. Delegates deliberated from July 1 to 22, 1944 and signed the Bretton Woods Agreement on the last day.
Through the establishment of a system of rules, institutions and procedures for regulating the international monetary system, these agreements created the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), now part of the World Bank Group. The United States, which controlled two-thirds of the world`s gold, insisted that the Bretton Woods system was based on both gold and the U.S. dollar. Soviet representatives attended the conference, but then refused to ratify the final agreements and claimed that the institutions they had created were “branches of Wall Street.”  These organizations were commissioned in 1945 after the agreement was ratified by a sufficient number of countries. Post-war global capitalism suffered from a huge shortage of dollars. The U.S. had huge trade surpluses and U.S. reserves were huge and growing. It was necessary to reverse this river. Although all nations wanted to buy U.S. exports, the dollars had to leave the United States and be available for international use so that they could do so. In other words, the United States should reverse global prosperity imbalances by chartering a trade deficit financed by the U.S.
outfed of reserves to other nations (a deficit in the U.S. fiscal balance). The United States could have a financial deficit, either by building plants, or by building plants, or by foreign nations. Remember that speculative investments were discouraged by the Bretton Woods agreement. Imports from other nations were not attractive in the 1950s because American technology was up to date at that time. This is how multinationals and global aid from the United States originated.  The first Bretton Woods conference in 1944 established the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency linked to the price of gold.