International Economic Co-Operation and the World Bank by Robert W. Oliver

By Robert W. Oliver

On December 14, 1945, the home of Commons voted 314 to 50 to ratify the Agreements negotiated at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, approximately a yr and a part prior. Lord Keynes had lower back from Washington to safeguard the Fund and the financial institution, of which he and Harry White have been the valuable authors, in addition to to justify an American mortgage to Britain - following President Harry S. Truman's abrupt postwar selection to terminate all land-lease suggestions to its wartime allies, an occasion which prompted the Conservative MP Robert Boothby, to claim: 'This is our monetary Munich'. this day, fifty years later, almost the entire governments of the area became individuals, and the capital subscriptions have elevated many fold. yet questions have arisen. maybe the Fund and the financial institution might be merged. a few argue that 50 years are sufficient, not less than for the financial institution. Others think that, whereas growth should still proceed, the emphasis can be redirected towards the relief of poverty in Africa and southern Asia. this can be an account of the old occasions of the interwar years and after. it's also a narrative in regards to the liberal philosophies of the political economists, basically British and American, who produced of the nice foreign associations of our time.

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The total yield, approximately 630 million gold crowns ($124 million), was enough to finance the deficits of the government until the Reconstruction, Recovery, and Collapse I 3 budget could be balanced and to repay the short-term foreign loans arranged earlier in the year. Thus, Austria was among the first of the European nations whose currencies became stable in international exchange markets, an event frequently cited as one of the major achievements of the League of Nations. Similar League stabilization schemes, though not involving the guarantees of other governments, were employed in Hungary (1924) and elsewhere, and the same approach, not involving the League, was followed in Poland (1927).

Sterling was a different matter. Toward the end of 1921, wholesale prices in Great Britain were nearly twice what they had been in 1913 as compared with only 40 percent higher in the United States. At that time, there was some consideration of the possibility that the British might return to gold at the ratio of 92! 86 in 1913. This course of action was strongly recommended by a number of prominent economists, most notably Professor Gustav Cassel of Sweden, but this advice was ignored, largely because British bankers believed that the continued success of London as the banking center of the world required that their pre-war gold commitments be honored.

A Anderson recognized the 'dollar shortage' aspects of the reconstruction problem, but he did not recognize the difficulties of restoring European production in the absence of an American financed European recovery program. He believed the Europeans should simply tighten their belts and follow the rules of the gold standard game, and his opinion was shared by most Americans in and out of government. 4 They are important because they provide an insight into the economic thought of the time and because they adumbrate the more sophisticated plans of the I 940s, none of which was conceived without reference to the past including previous attempts to organize intergovernmental economic co-operation.

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