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Bretton Woods Agreement and System

Bretton Woods Agreement and System

What Was the Bretton Woods Agreement and System?

The Bretton Woods Agreement was negotiated in July 1944 by delegates from 44 countries at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. In this way, the name "Bretton Woods Agreement.

Under the Bretton Woods System, gold was the basis for the U.S. dollar and different currencies were pegged to the U.S. dollar's value. The Bretton Woods System really reached a conclusion in the mid 1970s when President Richard M. Nixon announced that the U.S. would never again exchange gold for U.S. currency.

The Bretton Woods Agreement and System Explained

Around 730 agents addressing 44 countries met in Bretton Woods in July 1944 with the principal objectives of making an efficient foreign exchange system, preventing competitive downgrades of currencies, and advancing international economic growth. The Bretton Woods Agreement and System were central to these objectives. The Bretton Woods Agreement likewise made two important associations — the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. While the Bretton Woods System was disintegrated during the 1970s, both the IMF and World Bank have stayed strong support points for the exchange of international currencies.

However the Bretton Woods conference itself occurred over just three weeks, the arrangements for it had been happening for a very long time. The primary creators of the Bretton Woods System were the renowned British economist John Maynard Keynes and American Chief International Economist of the U.S. Treasury Department Harry Dexter White. Keynes' hope was to lay out a strong global central bank to be called the Clearing Union and issue another international reserve currency called the bancor. White's plan imagined a more humble lending fund and a greater job for the U.S. dollar, as opposed to the creation of another currency. Eventually, the adopted plan took thoughts from both, inclining more in the direction of White's plan.

It was only after 1958 that the Bretton Woods System turned out to be completely functional. When carried out, its provisions called for the U.S. dollar to be pegged to the value of gold. Also, any remaining currencies in the system were then pegged to the U.S. dollar's value. The exchange rate applied at the time set the price of gold at $35 an ounce.

Benefits of Bretton Woods Currency Pegging

The Bretton Woods System included 44 countries. These countries were brought together to help direct and advance international trade across borders. Similarly as with the benefits of all currency pegging systems, currency pegs are expected to give currency stabilization to trade of goods and services as well as financing.

Each of the countries in the Bretton Woods System agreed to a fixed peg against the U.S. dollar with redirections of just 1% permitted. Countries were required to monitor and keep up with their currency pegs which they accomplished basically by utilizing their currency to buy or sell U.S. dollars depending on the situation. The Bretton Woods System, hence, limited international currency exchange rate volatility which helped international trade relations. Greater stability in foreign currency exchange was likewise a factor for the fruitful support of loans and awards internationally from the World Bank.

The IMF and World Bank

The Bretton Woods Agreement made two Bretton Woods Institutions, the IMF and the World Bank. Officially presented in December 1945 the two institutions have endured everyday hardship, globally filling in as important support points for international capital financing and trade activities.

The purpose of the IMF was to monitor exchange rates and distinguish nations that required global monetary support. The World Bank, initially called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was laid out to oversee funds accessible for giving assistance to countries that had been actually and financially crushed by World War II. In the twenty-first century, the IMF has 190 member countries regardless keeps on supporting global monetary cooperation. Tandemly, the World Bank assists with advancing these efforts through its loans and awards to governments.

The Bretton Woods System's Collapse

In 1971, worried that the U.S. gold supply was presently not adequate to cover the number of dollars in circulation, President Richard M. Nixon devalued the U.S. dollar relative to gold. After a run on gold reserve, he declared an impermanent suspension of the dollar's convertibility into gold. By 1973 the Bretton Woods System had fallen. Countries were then free to pick any exchange arrangement for their currency, aside from pegging its value to the price of gold. They could, for instance, connect its value to another nation's currency, or a basket of currencies, or essentially let it float freely and permit market powers to decide its value relative to other countries' currencies.

The Bretton Woods Agreement stays a critical event in world financial history. The two Bretton Woods Institutions it made in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had an important impact in assisting with revamping Europe in the repercussions of World War II. Hence, the two institutions have kept on keeping up with their establishing objectives while additionally changing to serve global government interests in the present day.


  • The Bretton Woods System imploded during the 1970s yet made an enduring influence on international currency exchange and trade through its development of the IMF and World Bank.
  • The Bretton Woods System required a currency peg to the U.S. dollar which was thus pegged to the price of gold.
  • The Bretton Woods Agreement and System made a collective international currency exchange system that endured from the mid-1940s to the mid 1970s.