Money Matters: An IMF Exhibit -- The Importance of Global Cooperation

Conflict and Cooperation (1871-1944)

Part 5 of 6

Conflict &
(1871 - 1944)

Destruction &

(1945 - 1958)
The System
in Crisis

(1959 - 1971)
the System

(1972 - 1981)
Debt &

(1981 - 1989)
Globalization and Integration
(1989 - 1999)

The End of the War is in Sight. . .

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Road to Cooperation

The desire for economic cooperation stemmed from fear of repeating the post-World War I mistakes that had led to inflation, financial instability, and the Great Depression. While World War II still raged, Allied policy makers debated several plans for international monetary stability:
  • The U.S. proposal by Harry Dexter White
  • The U.K. proposal by John Maynard Keynes
  • Proposals from France and Canada

Keynes called for an International Currency Union, which would function as a "central bank" for the central banks of each country. White, on the other hand, called for a fund to which all member countries would contribute. Both agreed on fixed, but adjustable, exchange rates based on gold.


World War two photo


Bretton Woods

Travel to the United States was difficult and treacherous in the midst of the war, but, incredibly, representatives from 44 countries managed to gather for a conference at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. Their ambitious goal - to design the framework for postwar international economic cooperation. D-Day had taken place three weeks previously, giving the delegates hope that the war would soon end.


The Golden Era Meltdown Cost of the World War
Global Depression The End of the War is in Sight How Could Leaders Ensure a Future of Global Peace and Prosperity?

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