Monday, July 3, 2017

What We Can Learn from Bretton Woods

American leadership isn't what it used to be.

By Richard Hurowitz 07/01/17

Seventy-three years ago today, 44 nations descended on Bretton Woods in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for a conference on the future of the global financial system. In the Gilded Age, the area’s stately Mount Washington Hotel was a preferred summer destination for robber barons and presidents alike. Now at the height of World War II, the resort—which had almost shuttered during the Great Depression—would take its place in history. Three weeks after the landings at Normandy, a galaxy of finance ministers, central bankers, and economists assembled for to make sure the economic seeds of war were never planted again.
After the experience of two global conflagrations, the atrocities of Nazism, and the trauma of the Great Depression, a widely-held belief was that significant flaws in the international economic order lay at the heart of the conflict. From the post-World War I hyperinflation that ravaged Germany and Austria to unfettered protectionism and competitive “beggar-thy-neighbor” currency devaluations, the misery of political upheaval and world war had arisen from the nationalist free-for-all that was the interwar period. Fatigued, battered, and wizened, a generation of leaders sought to pave a better way......To Read More......
My Take - It seems to me Mr. Hurowitz learned the wrong lesson.  Bretton Woods is moribund and will soon be dead.  It's not sustainable, we can't afford it, and  most importantly - we don't need the rest of the world.  If we hadn't gotten involved in WWI - and there was no earthly reason for American involvement, including the sinking of the Lucitania - a British ship - or the Zimmerman note, WWII might not have ever happened.  We need to stop caring what the rest of the world does to itself because we can't fix it. In the meanwhile - we can feed oursleves, fuel ourselves, arm ourselves and defend ourselves without the rest of the world.  They can't and that's a problem they have to fix themselves.

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