Bretton Woods

Monday, June 17, 2013

Benn Steil gives an account of the historic Bretton Woods accords, named for the New Hampshire town where representatives of 44 nations gathered in July 1944, in the midst of WWII, to prevent economic disorder and defuse political conflict. In The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order, Steil shows that Bretton Woods was part of a much more ambitious geopolitical agenda. At the heart of the drama were John Maynard Keynes, the renowned and revolutionary British economist, and Harry Dexter White, the self-made American technocrat.


Benn Steil

Comments [6]

A "rap" view of Keynes vs Hyek

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men
how little they really know about
what they imagine they can design."

Jun. 17 2013 02:01 PM


Isn't that a spy? or was he just an agent of influence?

Jun. 17 2013 01:53 PM
Brian from Bronx

I'd be curious to hear about the speaker's thoughts on the Morgenthau Plan vis-a-vis postwar Germany, which Dexter White authored and FDR endorsed enthusiastically (unlike Churchill).

Jun. 17 2013 01:39 PM

Jun. 17 2013 01:33 PM

What was Harry Dexter White's relationship with the Soviets?

Jun. 17 2013 01:32 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Basically the Allies wanted to change the economic system by getting rid of the gold standard and, in effect, the dollar became the reserve currency ,though that was not its original intent. There was some idea of some new world currency, but that never happened. In reality, the dollar became the real world currency. Everyone needed dollars to buy stuff from the only remaining industrial power, the US at that time.

Jun. 17 2013 01:32 PM

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