ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unravelling of the Bretton Woods Twins

The Bretton Woods twins - the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank - have become largely irrelevant for both developed and developing countries. The market has enthroned the US dollar as the international reserve currency, with little role for the IMF which has lost its role as international lender of last resort. And the0 World Bank's capital is inadequate to meet the massive requirements of infrastructure in the developing world.

The Bretton Woods twins – the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank – have become largely irrelevant for both developed and developing countries. The market has enthroned the US dollar as the international reserve currency, with little role for the IMF which has lost its role as international lender of last resort. And the World Bank’s capital is inadequate to meet the massive requirements of infrastructure in the developing world.

With the second world war still raging, delegates of 44 allied nations met at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire in the United States (US) in July 1944, to put in place an institutional framework to rebuild the financial and economic system destroyed by the Great Depression and the war. This iconic conference spawned two of the most influential institutions of global economic governance of the post-war period. Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank now appear to be unravelling on account of their inability to adjust to tectonic shifts in the global economy over the last few decades.

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