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Bretton Woods Agreement Essay

1135 words - 5 pages

Bretton Woods Agreement

Definition: The Bretton Woods Agreement is the result of a 1944 meeting in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire involving delegates from forty-four countries following World War II. The resulting agreement established a fixed rate exchange system, the International Monterey Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This also included an exchange rate agreement, also known as the gold exchange standard. (Satterlee, 2009, p.157).

Summary: A Bretton Woods for innovation

This article by author Stephen Ezell highlights one of the issues overlooked upon the conclusion of the 1994 meeting, policies governing innovation. “We need a new international framework that sets clear ...view middle of the document...

“Finally, "Self-destructive" innovation policies, such as the United States' unwelcoming posture toward highly skilled immigrants, hurt a country while actually benefiting competitors” (Ezell, 2011, para. 6).

Ezell continues on to provide a notion that the world’s economy has become increasingly distorted due to the unsavory practices of several countries, their approach to innovation and the trend of innovation mercantilism. “China's currency manipulation, Brazil's neglect for foreign intellectual property holders' rights, and the European Union's tariffs and restrictions on information technology imports are all forms of innovation mercantilism” (Ezell, 2011, para. 7). Ezell states that one of the key issues is that every offshoot of the Agreement fails to communicate with one another and have their own internal issues. The author touches on topics involving the World Banks, IMF and WTO. Finally, Ezell proposes a new organization to overview innovative holdings called the “Global Science and Innovation Foundation”. “GSIF's mission would be to fund scientific research around the globe on key challenges and in particular support internationally collaborative research” (Ezell, 2011, para. 18).


Author Stephen Ezell brings up an interesting point in this article, who protects the Innovators and innovations? The Bretton Woods Agreement was formulated as a result of a world at war (part 2) and in order to equalize the planetary economy. It brought about the IMF, included the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and concreted a fixed exchange rate amongst nations. With this the current economy emerged. Ezell brings up excellent reasons as to why the Bretton Woods system needs to evolve or be the recipient of a complete overhaul. Ezell is not the first person to jockey for overhaul but doubts its efficiency. Chrisella Sagers wrote a short article entitled “The legacy of Bretton Woods” where she stated “Even a new Bretton Woods agreement would only be able to solve a few of the systemic problems facing us today, if all the nations of the world were truly able to agree on even that much” (Sagers, 2012, p.56). It appears that Ezell is attempting to make the statement that the original Bretton Woods agreement had its place and time but now it’s time for change. There are broad gaps between what and who protects the new technologies that appear every day. The technology that arrives on the market today was not thought about in the original agreement and because of that, unscrupulous governments are...

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