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The Future of the International Monetary System

Edited by Marc Uzan

Is the international financial architecture debate over? Not according to leading experts gathered together in this impressive volume who try to identify the key trends that will fashion the international financial system in the years ahead. As history has shown, the evolution of the international monetary system is a slow process. However, the authors argue that we may be entering a new era in which a combination of factors will have lasting consequences on the functioning of the international monetary system and the future role of the IMF.
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Chapter 1: The International Monetary Convention Project: the search for a new equilibrium in the international monetary system

Marc Uzan


Marc Uzan The Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee was founded in 1994 to study the changes needed in economic institutions if they are to be effective in this new environment. Unlike similar efforts underway, the Committee’s work is based on the premise that whereas the emergence of a regional focus of economic power is a phenomenon that is relatively well understood, the shift in the relative weight of private versus public capital flows in the world economy is less so. The establishment, 60 years ago, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank was the most important achievement of international cooperation following the Second World War. The IMF was the guardian of the Bretton Woods regime of fixed exchange rates, and its essential mission immediately after the war was to seek foreign exchange rate stability and a balance of payments equilibrium through three instruments: short-term financing, policy surveillance and capital controls. The World Bank supported reconstruction and development through longterm finance and mobilization of private capital through risk transfers. Over the past 60 years, the world has witnessed tremendous changes in its political and economic regimes, largely altering the environment in which international financial institutions (IFIs), including the IMF and the World Bank, pursued their activities. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods regime in 1971, the fixed exchange rate system gave way to a floating exchange rate system. As a result of spreading liberalization of capital controls, the free flow of capital became a fact of...

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