70 years ago, the 22nd of July 1944, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, better known as the Bretton Woods |1| Conference, that had lasted for three weeks, reached a conclusion. It was attended by representatives from 44 countries |2|.
In order to prevent a recurrence of economic crises like the crash of 1929, but also to ensure world leadership in the post-war era, the United States government began to plan for the creation of international financial institutions as early as 1941. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund saw the light of day at the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Initially, the Roosevelt administration was in favour of creating strong institutions capable of imposing rules on the private financial sector, including Wall Street. But noticing the hostility of the banking world Roosevelt backed down. Indeed, the distribution of votes within the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund clearly illustrates the will of certain major powers to exert domination over the rest of the world.
Senior Lecturer at the University of Liège
President of CADTM www.cadtm.org
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