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It was a long way before the Bretton Woods institutions began their work concrete in From until the conference in in Bretton Woods were discussed proposals by different states. Many oft that proposals was presented by the United States and by Great Britain. Some of the fundamental aspects in the discussion presented by the national states were to build up a strong world economic, to influence the capital movement, to provent currency manipulation but also to maintain the national currency and economic policy.

There were discussed many suggestions whith visibile differences by national states.

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A first crux was the discussion of membership on Bretton Woods Insitutions. The first idea was to create a bilaterale agreement only by the United States and Great Britain, finally it became a multilateral agreement for all member states. Furthermore interesting suggestions were made for the memebership rights of vote.

Table of Contents

The only right calculation for the United States was to take the national income. Until the Bretton Woods Institution became capable of acting in , the role of the Soviet Union was not clearly defined. On the the conference in the Soviet Union played an active role. Others went out quickly after, some others entered before the Cold War was finished. The conzeption of the International Monetary Fund was to establish rules of a close collaboration of the international Monetary policy and to guarantee a sucessfull collaboration on the cross- national monetary transaction.

Furthermore the IMF tried to offer solutions in cases of deficites on balance of payments. The principal point of the agreement was the idea of a fixing currency parity. On grounds of different economic decisions in the s, the well balanced system of a fixing currency system was dissolved. Due to the fact of the enourmes debt position of the developing world, the IMF became more and more a consulter and revisor to release new credits for countries which have payments difficulty.

The permission of this credits is connected to programms of adaptions of economic and financial structures in a country. This could be the privatization of banks and public cooperations, the reduction of public spendings but also the introducing of a Good Governance standard. The International Monetary Fund offers technical assistance to obtain the objectives. This credits of the IMF are not common credits, but conditioned drawings of lots.

Each country get their one quota; on this quota the IMF can install recommendiations and specific obligations. The second quota is bonded to moderates recommendiations, to receive furthermore credits the state must signe a stand- by arrangment with the IMF. In addition the state conclude a letter of intent, in which a substantial reform of the economic policy is defined. VWL - Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen. VWL - Geldtheorie, Geldpolitik. Politik - Internationale Politik - Thema: GRIN Publishing, located in Munich, Germany, has specialized since its foundation in in the publication of academic ebooks and books.

The publishing website GRIN. Free Publication of your term paper, essay, interpretation, bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, dissertation or textbook - upload now! Register or log in. Our newsletter keeps you up to date with all new papers in your subjects. Request a new password via email. Economic situation until the foundation of Bretton Woods in 2.

The International Monetary System

The End of the Bretton Woods System 3. Economic situation until the foundation of Bretton Woods in According to the world financial crisis in and the awaiting consequences of the World War II, the United Staates of America and their narrowst political and economic partner Great Britain, decided to instituionalise their economical relationsship between itself an the other states.

Bretton Woods I vs.

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Ein neues Bretton Woods? Das Bretton Wood System. Back then Britain was the leading economic power in the world and other countries hoped to improve their own economy by imitating the British system. In the United States joined the gold standard when they linked their paper dollar bills which were issued during the civil war, to gold. As prices of currencies were fixed in terms of gold, the gold standard attempted to ensure stability in world price levels.

In fact price levels did not rise as much as during the gold standard as after World War II. However there was much fluctuation in national price levels over short periods. This was due to a change in the relative prices of gold and other commodities. During World War I governments more or less suspended the gold standard and printed money in order to finance their substantial military expenditures.

Therefore many countries experienced runaway inflation and as a result money supplies and price levels of many countries increased considerably. However, particularly Britain, the former international center of the gold standard system, had problems to reintroduce it. The pound price of gold was too high and the Bank of England was therefore forced to follow a contractionary monetary policy in order to devalue it to the level before World War I.

Unfortunately these measures led to a heavy increase of unemployed people. These events led to a decline of London as the world financial center. Furthermore it proved to be a problem for the stability of the gold standard. In the Great Depression began with many bank failures all over the world. Therefore many of them started exchanging their pounds into gold what forced the British representatives to quit the gold standard as they were unable to provide such a huge amount of gold.

The United States left the gold standard in but returned to it in , other countries did not and suffered most during the Great Depression. Restrictions on international trade and payments imposed by individual countries harmed world economy additionally and the world therefore developed into increasingly self-sufficient national entities in the early s. Due to the Great Depression, many countries had reduced their international trade activities which resulted in lower gains from trade and contributed to a slow recovery from the economic slump. Krugman, Obstfeld, ; Eichengreen.

In the end this conclusion was the basis for the postwar international monetary system, the Bretton Woods agreement. In remembrance of the disastrous aftermath of the years between the two world wars, the aim of the participants was to design a new international monetary system that would encourage full employment and price stability under condition that each country could obtain external balance without having trade restrictions.


This should be conducted with support of the IMF if necessary. Additionally a second institution, the World Bank was founded. It should support nations in war to rebuild their destroyed economies and furthermore it should help former colonies to develop and modernize their own economies. The participants of the system preserved their financial reserves mainly in the form of gold or dollar deposits and they had the guarantee that their dollar assets would be bought by the U.

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Federal Reserve Bank at the official price in return for gold. Hence, the system was a gold exchange standard in which the dollar represented the main reserve currency. By setting up this system with parts of discipline and flexibility the articles of the IMF agreement tried to avoid a second global depression such as in the interwar years. The basis for disciplined monetary management was the fact that exchange rates were fixed to the US dollar which subsequently was bound to gold. The result of this rule was that if central banks other than the Federal Reserve conducted an excessive monetary policy, it would forfeit international reserves and therefore become unable to preserve the fixed exchange rate against the dollar.

There was even a constraint for the Fed itself since excessive US monetary easing would cause a dollar accumulation by foreign central banks which would result in an incapacity of the Fed to repurchase those dollars in return for gold. However, guaranteeing monetary discipline was not the only goal of the architects of the Bretton Woods system which they tackled with fixed exchange rates. As countries considered full employment to be a major economic goal after the Great Depression, the IMF agreement tried to enable its members to achieve external balance without sacrificing internal objectives or fixed exchange rates.

This was realized by pooling currencies and gold of all member states in order to enable the IMF to lend these financial resources to member states if necessary. Also devaluations and revaluations of the currencies against the dollar were possible in cases of an economy in fundamental disequilibrium Krugman, Obstfeld, , p. The term fundamental disequilibrium describes the case of an economy that suffers from ongoing negative developments in its demand level which would lead to continuous severe unemployment and external deficits without devaluating its currency.

The USA was able to adjust fiscal and monetary policy measures, whereas the other countries only had the opportunity to use fiscal policy options, i. Theoretically they had also the option to adjust their exchange rates. However, this was considered as an exception of the Bretton Woods rules and therefore impractical.

The Bretton-Woods-System and it's Historical Backdrop

Countries that made use of this option in order to achieve internal and external balance suffered from balance of payments crises. A balance of payment crisis occurs for example when the market expects a devaluation of the currency by the central bank. Due to speculation, private capital is transferred abroad which leads to a decrease in foreign reserves and the domestic interest rate rises above the world interest rate level. As already mentioned above, the major goal of countries was to attain internal and external balance.

The target value can be defined as a current account deficit or surplus. Both can lead to problems. Although it does not reflect the Bretton Woods situation a hundred percent, the model will show how dependent the countries were on their fixed exchange rate levels E and their fiscal policies.

From Bretton Woods to the idea of a Bretton Woods II system

Bretton Woods II 6. Lessons learned from Bretton Woods - Conclusion References Executive Summary The international monetary system went through substantial changes during the last century. List of Figures Figure 1: Introduction The international monetary system is the framework that unifies individual economies in the modern world.