TARGET balances, Bretton Woods, and the Great Depression

Michael Bordo, 21 March 2014



During the Eurozone crisis, an analogy was made between the events in Europe between 2007 and 2012 and the collapse of the Bretton Woods System between 1968 and 1971. There has been a build-up of TARGET liabilities since 2007 by some central banks (notably Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, or the ‘GIPS’), and of TARGET assets by Germany and others.

Topics: Economic history, International finance
Tags: Bretton Woods, Central Banks, ECB, euro, Eurosystem, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, financial crisis, global imbalances, Great Depression, TARGET

Putting the ‘system’ in the international monetary system

Michael Bordo, Angela Redish, 20 June 2013



The Eurozone and Bretton Woods are prime examples of planned international monetary arrangements designed in each case to deal with the perceived flaws of earlier more ‘spontaneous order systems ‘based on domestic monetary institutions (Gallarotti 1995).

Topics: Economic history, Macroeconomic policy
Tags: Bretton Woods, eurozone, monetary policy

Making the European Monetary Union

Harold James, 17 February 2013



It is often claimed – especially but not only by US economists – that the travails of the euro show that it is impossible to have a monetary union in the absence of a political union, and that Europe is necessarily embarking on a US-style experiment in federalism.

Topics: Economic history, EU institutions
Tags: Bretton Woods, Eurozone crisis, German surplus

A new IMF reserve currency without the problems of the substitution account – The creation of Special Transaction Rights

Martin Skala, 20 April 2011



In the wake of the global financial crisis, the discontent with the current international monetary system lingers on (see for example Vines 2010). But is there an alternative given the decades-old discussions about gold, Bretton Woods Systems, Bancor, and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)? Yes, there is.

Topics: Global crisis, International finance, International trade
Tags: Bretton Woods, IMF, International Monetary System, Special drawing rights, Special Transaction Rights

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