Bretton Woods Institutions

The Bretton Woods Institutions—consisting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (the Bank)—were created in 1944 to help promote the economic health of the world economy. The Bretton Woods Conference, officially called the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, at the Mount Washington Hotel on July 1–22, 1944, as World War II was coming to a close.

Delegations from 45 governments agreed on a framework for economic cooperation designed to avoid a repetition of the disastrous economic policies that contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s. During the 1930s, as economic activity in the major industrial countries weakened, these countries attempted to support their own economies by increasing restrictions on imports. Unfortunately, increased restrictions ...

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