Bretton Woods After 50
Review of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 33, issue 4, 552-569
This paper reviews the operation of the Bretton Woods international monetary system 50 years after the United States closed the Gold Window linking the dollar to gold in August 1971. It argues that Bretton Woods operated as successfully as it did owing to three special circumstances: low international capital mobility, tight financial regulation, and the dominant economic and financial position of the United States and the dollar. There can be no more straightforward an explanation for why nothing like Bretton Woods will be restored in the foreseeable future.
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