1.1 The main purpose of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual and Compilation Guide (Manual) is to offer guidelines for the compilation and presentation of monetary statistics, with compilers and users of such statistics as its focal target audience. Additionally, the Manual provides an orientation to the financial statistics framework. The Manual is also useful to compilers and users of other macroeconomic statistics in understanding the relationships among the various macroeconomic datasets.
The first export credit agency, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) of the United Kingdom, was established in 1919. Its original purpose was to encourage and support exports (initially to Russia) that would not otherwise have taken place. Similar motivations led to the establishment of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (the U.S. Eximbank) in 1933. There was little further activity on the export credit front in the 1920s and 1930s, but many such agencies were founded after World War II. As it appears in hindsight, the chain of reasoning for governments becoming involved in this area probably went along the following lines:
On July 1–22,1944, delegates from 44 nations met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to design a framework for future international economic cooperation. Faced with an exceedingly ambitious agenda—to agree on fundamental principles, to design a set of institutions capable of furthering those principles, and to draft the Articles of Agreement to govern those institutions—these delegates managed in just three weeks to realize nearly all of their goals. That “political miracle,” as Richard Gardner calls it (in Chapter 4 of this volume), was all the more remarkable for having been accomplished in the midst of a global war by delegates from countries with broadly diverse experiences and objectives. The design of the Articles was largely the product of the British and U.S. delegations, but many other countries—China, France, and India are prominent examples—put their stamp on the final product. As Jacques Polak—one of several veterans of Bretton Woods who gathered 50 years later in Madrid—noted in a tribute (see Box), for all who were there in 1944 it was one of the most intense experiences, perhaps the defining experience, of their professional lives. And “Bretton Woods” entered the lexicon as a symbol of international economic cooperation and stability.