USA, Great Britain, USSR met 1944 in Bretton Woods (New Hampshire) to
discuss future world order
Original Purpose: Stabilizing system of fixed exchange rates
Gold Exchange Standard (until 1971) required the U.S. to peg the dollar to
gold and other countries to peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar.
In 1971 United States President Richard Nixon unilaterally cancelled the
direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold. This ended the existing Bretton
Woods system of international financial exchange, and marked the beginning of the era
of freely floating currencies that remains to the present day.
Today’s core responsibility of the IMF is to provide loans to member countries experiencing actual or
potential balance of payments problems. This financial assistance enables countries to rebuild their
international reserves, stabilize their currencies, continue paying for imports, and restore conditions
for strong economic growth, while undertaking policies to correct underlying problems.
The IMF accepts Gold as payment by Member Countries.
Ranking of Gold Reserves Worldwide:
1. USA 8134 t
2. Germany 2435 t
3. IMF 2827 t
Italy 2452 t, France 2435 t, China 1054 t
Each country‘s IMF quota determines how much it contributes, how many votes it
has and how much it can borrow.
Quotas: USA 56 billion USD (Tuwalu 2,7 million USD)
Voting rights: USA 17 % of the votes (Tuwalu 0,01 %)
After the fall of communism the IMF supported the reforms in the CEE countries
(Ukraine, Romania and Hungary are some of the biggest debtors of the IMF)
Bank for International Settlements
• The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is
an international organization of central banks which
"fosters international monetary and financial
cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks“.
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) interacts
with governments whereas the BIS interacts only
with other central banks.
• BIS is based in Basel, Switzerland.
Tipp: Read its Annual Reports + Quarterly Reviews
• Exorbitant Privilege: the Rise and Fall of the dollar and the Future of the
International Monetary System, Barry Eichengreen, 2012
• Bank for International Settlements: Annual Report