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Does the world need a new Bretton Woods?

Over a quarter of a billion people in 2022 are at risk of falling into extreme poverty. 

The global economy was anyway experiencing rising inequality even before the twin hammer blows of COVID-19 and the food price shock (made worse by Russia’s senseless war against Ukraine).

Ahead of the Washington D.C. meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) on `18 April, Oxfam International has published a report warning that “a wave of governments is nearing a debt default and being forced to slash public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel”.

Is it time for the IMF and World Bank to take a different approach? 

In July 1944, delegates from the Allied nations met at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire to discuss the post-WWII international monetary system. Critics argue that the importance of Bretton Woods is overstated, and that the financial system after WW2 depended more on US hegemony than on international cooperation. Nevertheless, is bold IMF and World Bank reform required now to prevent growing global inequality, and to support emerging economies struggling with inflation and heavy debt burdens?

What do our readers think? 

We took a set of comments from CristinaHamza, and Blugalf and put them to two experts on Bretton Woods:

  •  Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalisation and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD & co-author of The Case for a New Bretton Woods
  • Angelo Federico Arcelli, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for International Governance Innovation – CIGI

You can see their answers in the video above.

Does the world need a new Bretton Woods? 

Is the global economy too dependent on the dollar? Should the IMF be reformed and stronger? Should we reconsider Keynes’ idea of an International Clearing Union and global currency? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

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