Global Financial Mgmt

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rfyllier
Words 2471
Pages 10
I lived in New Hampshire for over 20 years. That is the place where we raised our six children. We were also very fortunate to have also lived in Europe for many years. While living in NH, I was always intrigued with the story of a small resort village, Bretton Woods, and the global impact it had on Europe and the rest of the world. Bretton Woods institutions were created in 1944 during the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at the Mount Washington Hotel (The Bretton Woods Committee, n.d.). The Bretton Woods institutions created an international basis for exchanging one currency for another. It also led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, now known as the World Bank (Stephey, 2008) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)—the precursor to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition to establishing the World Bank, the Committee chose the U.S. dollar as the pillar of international monetary exchange. The meeting provided the world post World War II currency stability which was desperately needed.
The Bretton Woods system itself may have collapsed in 1971, when President Richard Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold — a decision made to prevent a run on Fort Knox, which contained only a third of the gold bullion necessary to cover the amount of dollars in foreign hands. By 1973, most major world economies had allowed their currencies to float freely against the dollar. It was a rocky transition, characterized by plummeting stock prices, skyrocketing oil prices, bank failures and inflation (Stephey, 2008). However you spin it, Bretton Woods established the United States as the leader and the leader of the new post Second World War economic order.
Times have changed since 1944. Then, it was manufacturing and agriculturally driven…...

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