What Enabled Bretton Woods?

The Bretton Woods conference created a global monetary framework that served as a cornerstone of a peaceful global political order for at least 30 years. What was the key to its effectiveness, and how can its success be replicated to create a new international monetary system?

PRINCETON – The proximity of the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference, which established the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to historical anniversaries like the Allied landings in Normandy highlights just how ambitious its organizers were. Indeed, amid considerable tumult, the conference aimed to create a stable international monetary framework that could serve as a cornerstone of a peaceful global order. And it succeeded – at least for a while.