This chapter presents several papers included in the Bretton Woods conference. The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 had left many issues of development finance unresolved. In fact, very early, the World Bank took a different direction from that envisaged by its founders. The IMF came into existence on December 27, 1945. The eventual growth in the Fund's activities led to the disappearance of the nonresident Executive Director. A teleological approach in the examination of the IMF’s authority was inspired not only by the principle that the Fund must be effective in the pursuit of its purposes but also by the belief that the Articles, and especially the provisions on the par value system, constituted an international monetary system. In the 1950s, the Bank made an important contribution to helping countries cope with the external debt problems left over from the 1930s. Moreover now it is trying, in cooperation with the IMF, to help countries make necessary adjustments on a case-by-case basis.
This is the final article in our series commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Bretton Woods. Andrew Kamarck was with the World Bank for 28 years, holding a number of senior positions in the institution. Since retiring from the Bank, he has been Associate Fellow at the Harvard Institute of International Development. In this strictly personal perspective, he reflects about the Bank’s past efforts to promote development, including some of the obstacles it has faced, and the important role it has to play in the future.
This is the fourth in our series of articles commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference. Edward Bernstein is eminently qualified to write on this topic. He was a participant at Bretton Woods as a member of the U.S. delegation, after having played a leading role in the technical elaboration of the White Plan—the U.S. proposal for the Fund—as Assistant Director of Monetary Research at the U.S. Treasury. In 1946, he became the Director of the Fund’s Research Department, a post he held for 12 years. As architect and builder, he had a profound influence on the institution and its staff in the formative years. After leaving the Fund in 1958, he established the consulting firm of EMB Ltd. and became its President. Among many other activities, he was Chairman of the U.S. government-appointed Review Commission for Balance of Payments Statistics and a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on International Monetary Arrangements. Since 1982, he has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. In this essay, he addresses a question that has been on the minds of many in recent years.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper discusses the study on development planning conducted by a small group within the World Bank. The study reveals that most countries not only encounter the same planning problems, they make the same mistakes. The paper highlights that although most countries with development plans have not succeeded in carrying them out, some countries without national development plans or national planning agencies have been developing rapidly. The paper also highlights that the lack of government support is the prime reason why so few development plans are carried out.
The Research Summaries in the March 2013 Research Bulletin discuss "Trade Finance and Its Role in the Great Trade Collapse" (JaeBin Ahn) and "Sovereign Debt: How to Track Who Is Buying and Selling It" (Serkan Arslanalp and Takahiro Tsuda). The Q&A looks at "Seven Questions on the Implications of Global Supply Chains for Real Effective Exchange Rates" (Rudolfs Bems). Readers can also find in this issue a listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications. The Bulletin also includes a call for papers for a research conference and information on free access to the IMF Economic Review in April.
Finland’s 2008 Article IV Consultation shows that spillovers from the global turmoil are adversely affecting activity and may weaken the financial system. From a cyclical perspective, a fiscal structural loosening is warranted. Its effectiveness in Finland’s small, open economy would be limited in the absence of an EU-wide fiscal package. The authorities have been confident that an EU-coordinated budget expansion is in the works. There has been agreement that loosening should be designed to minimize damage to long-term fiscal sustainability.