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Abstract

This paper describes the essence of the Bretton Woods conference. The Bretton Woods conference was one of a number of inter-allied conferences in the later part of World War II that led to the creation of a new international organization. The point of this paper is not to defend the Bretton Woods agreements of 1944, but rather to stress the continuity of the IMF’s mandate to promote monetary cooperation among countries. The paper also draws lessons for the future from the work of the IMF in the 1960s and 1970s.

International Monetary Fund
There has been growing interest recently in the scope for promoting monetary stability through the establishment of independent central banks. This paper reviews the issues involved in central bank independence against the background of arrangements in nine countries. The analysis suggests that detailed institutional arrangements would need to be carefully designed if the potential benefits of central bank independence are to be delivered. Particularly important are the nature of arrangements to resolve various types of conflicts involving monetary policy, and arrangements to promote accountability and public monitoring of monetary policy performance.
Mr. Joseph Gold

Abstract

En esta publicación se presenta la séptima encuesta sobre la evolución de la legislación y la práctica monetaria internacional y nacional en relación con los derechos especiales de giro (DEG), las monedas y el oro. Desde la publicación del folleto No. 40 en 1983, el FMI ha adoptado tres decisiones publicadas sobre la supervisión de las políticas de tipo de cambio de los países miembros. La lista de monedas se mantuvo sin cambios debido a que la participación del país que ocupa el sexto lugar en las exportaciones de bienes y servicios en relación con el total mundial (Italia) fue inferior a la participación del país que ocupa el quinto lugar (Reino Unido).

Mr. Joseph Gold

Abstract

Cette brochure est le septième exposé consacré aux changements intervenus, sur le plan international et national, dans la législation et dans la pratique monétaire, concernant les droits de tirage spéciaux (DTS), les monnaies et l'or. Le FMI a adopté trois décisions publiées sur la surveillance des taux de change des pays membres depuis la publication de la brochure n° 40 en 1983. La liste des monnaies est demeurée inchangée du fait que l'Italie arrive au sixième rang des exportateurs de biens et de services avec une part du total mondial inférieure à celle du cinquième pays, le Royaume-Uni.

Mr. Joseph Gold

Abstract

This paper presents the seventh survey of developments in international and national monetary law and practice involving special drawing rights (SDRs), currencies, and gold. The IMF has adopted three published decisions on surveillance over the exchange rate policies of members since the publication of Pamphlet No. 40 in 1983. The list of currencies remained unchanged because the share of the sixth largest exporter of goods and services in the world total (Italy) was below the share of the member with the fifth largest share (United Kingdom).

J. J. POLAK

I WOULD LIKE to respond to a question posed by the Managing Director in his opening remarks as to why the Fund has found it so difficult to make pronouncements on the exchange rates of major currencies. Some ten years ago the Fund did not hesitate to make such a pronouncement. For example, in August 1971 the staff felt sure enough of its ground to propose a new set of exchange rates. In the event, the rates proposed proved wrong: the changes were too small and did not produce enough adjustment. There was, however, a rather comforting explanation: it was not that the Fund’s model was wrong but that the size of the 1971 disequilibrium had been seriously underestimated. In the mid-1970s, the Fund staff started to calculate “underlying balances” for the major countries—i.e., balances that would materialize over the medium term with present exchange rates and at reasonably high levels of activity in all countries. The exercise proved generally right in predicting the fall in the deutsche mark/dollar rate from 1976 to September 1978 and it also correctly suggested that the further sharp fall of the dollar in October 1978 went too far. But the model was never good at predicting what would happen to the yen, and it broke down for the dollar in 1980. Since then, interest rates have been so dominant and so volatile over so long a time, with such wide-ranging effects, and with so much bandwagon riding in both the capital and the foreign exchange markets, that the kind of medium-term analysis in which the Fund had engaged has become largely irrelevant to what happens in exchange markets for the short term and also to what can be made to happen through, for example, intervention or any policy of bands or target zones.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper presents Selected Decisions and Selected Documents’ Supplement to Eighth issue of the IMF. This volume, which is presented as a Supplement to the Eighth Issue of Selected Decisions of the IMF and Selected Documents includes general decisions adopted by the IMF since May 10, 1976, the date of publication of the Eighth Issue. Some of these decisions were adopted in connection with the Second Amendment of the IMF's Articles of Agreement that took effect on April 1, 1978. All references to the Articles and to the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations in this Supplement are to the Articles of Agreement as modified by the Second Amendment and to the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Thirty-Fifth Issue, July 1, 1978, respectively, unless indicated otherwise. The IMF has not yet completed the process of making the modifications in existing decisions, and adopting the new decisions, that are required in connection with the Second Amendment. The Ninth Issue of this collection will be published as soon as this task of adaptation is complete. It will include the decisions in the Eighth Issue that remain in effect, the decisions in this Supplement, and any further decisions that are adopted. Meanwhile, in view of the accumulation of new and modified decisions, there is need for this Supplement.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper examines legal developments in area of floating currencies, special drawing rights, and gold in the IMF. It highlights that the breakdown of the par value system of the original Articles of the IMF and the failure of the IMF’s efforts to substitute a comparable system based on central rates are producing widespread effects in international and domestic law. The floating of sterling has been an impetus to the reversal of the ancient rule that English courts can give monetary judgments only in sterling. It has also influenced the choice of the exchange rate on the day when payment is actually made.