Why Bretton Woods 2015

The original Bretton Woods Conference was a gathering of over 700 delegates from all 44 allied countries that took place in the hills of New Hampshire in mid-July, 1944. Their goal, in the wake of a terribly destructive war, was to organize a global monetary system that would encourage growth, trade, stability, and peace.

The agreements they made during their conference established a new financial order to the world, one whose direction set the pace for the greatest decades of growth the world had ever seen. Their system established the US dollar as the global reserve currency and pegged the dollar to gold. In 1971 Richard Nixon ended the dollar’s convertability to gold, in many ways ending the Bretton Woods monetary system. Despite elimination, the dollar remains today the world’s reserve currency, a lasting testament to the American delegates at the Bretton Woods conference.

The advent of distributed ledgers (and the tokens paid to the entities maintaining such ledgers) has the potential to impact money, trade, and access to banking more than any development since the implementation of fractional reserve banking systems.

This July, Consumers’ Research will host a workshop to discuss both the promises and risks these new technologies pose, the obstacles they face in their developments, and potential solutions to these obstacles.