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But the United States, as likely creditors who sought to play the role of the world`s economic powerhouse, used White`s plan, but aimed for a lot of Keynes. White saw a role in global interventions in an imbalance only when it was caused by monetary speculation. The creation of Bretton Woods led countries to attach their currency to the U.S. dollar. In return, the dollar was pepped to the price of gold and the United States dominated the global economy. The United States was the only nation that could print the world-wide accepted currency, and countries had more flexibility than with the old gold standard. The Bretton Woods system is a series of uniform rules and guidelines that have provided the framework for the creation of fixed international exchange rates. Essentially, the agreement called on the new IMF to set the fixed exchange rate for currencies around the world. Each country represented assumed responsibility for maintaining the exchange rate, with incredibly narrow margins above and below.

Countries struggling to stay within the fixed exchange rate window could ask the IMF for an adjustment in interest rates for which all allied countries would then be responsible. We, the delegates at this conference, Mr. Speaker, have tried to get something very difficult. […] It was our duty to find common action, a common standard, a common rule acceptable to everyone and boring for anyone. At the end of the war, the Bretton Woods Conference was the culmination of about two and a half years of planning for post-war reconstruction by the Treasuries of the United States and the United Kingdom. American officials studied with their British colleagues the reconstruction of what had been lacking between the two world wars: an international payments system that would allow nations to act without fear of sudden currency devaluations or sharp exchange rate fluctuations – diseases that had almost paralyzed global capitalism during the Great Depression. The World Bank and the IMF, often referred to as the Bretton Woods institutions, are two intergovernmental pillars that support the structure of the global and financial economic order. Both have broadened roles and calls have again been made for a further extension of their responsibilities, particularly in the continued absence of a single global monetary agreement. The two institutions appear to have confusing or overlapping functions. While there are similarities (see figure below), they are two distinct organizations with different roles.

The architects of Bretton Woods had devised a system in which exchange rate stability was a priority. But in an era of more activist economic policy, governments have not seriously considered permanent interest rates, modelled on the classic gold standard of the 19th century. Gold production has not even been sufficient to meet the demands of growth in international trade and investment. In addition, much of the world-famous gold reserves were in the Soviet Union, which was to emerge as a Cold War rival with the United States and Western Europe.

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