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Is Germany Repeating American Errors at Bretton Woods?

Author: Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics
July 16, 2013


At the founding of the Bretton Woods international monetary system in 1944, the world's dominant creditor nation, the U.S., set out to revive a fixed exchange-rate system by offering a war-torn, debt-ridden world a new deal in monetary relations, one to be supported by concessionary dollar loans from a new International Monetary Fund.

Today, Germany is trying to resuscitate the periphery of the crisis-stricken euro area in much the same way, and it is worth looking back at the formation of Bretton Woods for clues as to how this will play out.

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