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Milestones—Bretton Woods, 40 years later: An annotated chronology

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
March 1984
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World Bank1YearFund
1944
Atlantic City meeting; delegates from 16 countries review draft of preliminary proposals for the Bank and the Fund (June 15); Bretton Woods Conference (July 1–22) Final Act embodying the Articles of Agreement of the Bank and the Fund is signed (July 22)
1945
Articles of Agreement of both institutions are signed by a sufficient majority of members

(December 27)
1946
Inaugural Meeting of Boards of Governors, at Savannah, Georgia (March)
First Annual Meeting of Boards of Governors, in Washington (September)
Eugene Meyer is appointed first President (June-December 1946); Bank’s initial authorized capital is $12 billionCamille Gutt is appointed Managing Director (June 1946–May 1951); Fund’s initial quotas are $7.4 billion
John J. McCloy is appointed President (March 1947–June 1949)

First loan, to Crédit National of France (May)

First mission, to Poland (June)

First bond offer, on U.S. market (July)
1947First drawing is made on Fund’s resources, by France (May)
1948
First portfolio sale (January)

Technical assistance program begins (June)

Eugene R. Black is appointed President (July 1949–December 1962)
1949
1950
1951First Quinquennial Review of Quotas completed; no general increase (March)

Ivar Rooth is appointed Managing Director (August 1951–August 1956)
1952Procedures for annual consultations on exchange restrictions are approved by the Executive Board (January)

The “Rooth plan” for a policy on drawings from the Fund is agreed (February)

Procedures for stand-by arrangements, drawings, and charges are agreed (October)
Eugene R. Black is reappointed as President (September)1953
First dollar bond issue entirely outside United States (September)1954
The Economic Development Institute is established (March)1955
International Finance Corporation is established, with an authorized capital of $100 million, of which $78 million is initially subscribed (July)

Robert L. Garner is appointed President of IFC (July 1956–October 1961)
1956Second Quinquennial Review of Quotas completed; no general increase (January)

Per Jacobsson is appointed Managing Director (December 1956–May 1963)
1957First gold sales to the united states) to replenish the Fund’s resources (January, May)
1958First general increase in quotas becomes effective, increasing the total to $15 billion (September)
Eugene R. Black is reappointed as President (July)

Bank capital is increased to $25.3 billion (September)
1959
International Development Association is established with an initial subscription of $912.7 million (September)1960Third Quinquennial Review of Quotas completed; no general increase (December)
Amendment to IFC Articles is announced, to allow it to make equity investments (September)

Eugene R. Black is appointed President of IFC (October 1961–December 1962)
1961Twenty one Fund members, including the principal European countries, accept the obligations of currency convertibility and shift from Article XIV to Article VIII status (February, April)

Executive Board decides the Fund’s resources can be used for capital transfers (July)
1962General Arrangements to Borrow is formed (October)
George D. Woods is appointed President of the Bank, IFC, and IDA (January 1963–March 1968)

Bank capital is increased to $26.5 billion (December)

The authorized capital of IFC is increased to $110 million (September)
1963Compensatory financing facility is approved (February)

Pierre-Paul Schweitzer is appointed Managing Director (September 1963–August 1973)
First Replenishment of IDA, of $899.7 million1964GAB activated for first time to meet drawings by United Kingdom (November)
Articles of Agreement are amended to allow Bank to loan IFC up to four times IFC’s unimpaired subscribed capital and surplus (December)1965GAB is renewed for four years (October)
Bank capital is increased to $28.9 billion (August)

Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes enters into force (October)
1966Fourth Quinquennial Review of Quotas completed; the Executive Board approves general and special increases that raise the total to $21.2 billion (March)
1967
Robert S. McNamara is appointed President of the Bank, IFC, and IDA (April 1968–June 1981)1968Pierre-Paul Schweitzer is reappointed as Managing Director (September)

Conditions on the use of Fund resources are reviewed (September)
Second Replenishment of IDA comes into effect, providing $1.4 billion (July)1969Buffer stock financing facility is established (June)

First Amendment of the Articles of Agreement enters into force, creating the Special Drawing Account, and the SDR (July)
Authorized capital of World Bank is increased to $32.6 billion (December)1970Fifth General Review of Quotas is completed and approved by the Executive Board, increasing total to about SDR 28.9 billion (February); GAB renewed (October)
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research is founded (May)1971Dollar convertibility suspended (August) Smithsonian agreement on exchange rates is concluded (December)
Third Replenishment of IDA comes into effect, providing $2.9 billion (September)1972Unit for Fund accounts changed from dollar to SDR (March)

Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues (the Committee of Twenty) is established (July)
Robert S. McNamara is reappointed as President of Bank, IFC, and IDA (April)1973Johannes Witteveen is appointed Managing Director (September 1973–June 1978)

Central rate concept extended to floating rates (November)
1974Guidelines for the management of floating rates are established (June)

First oil facility is established (June)

Extended facility is established (September) Final Report and Outline of Reform of Committee of Twenty is transmitted to Board of Governors at Annual Meetings (September)

Interim Committee of the Board of Governors on the International Monetary System (the Interim Committee) is established (October)
Joint Ministerial Committee of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries (Development Committee) is established (October)
Fourth Replenishment of IDA becomes effective, providing $4.501 billion (January)

Intermediate Financing Facility—to provide development assistance on terms intermediate between those of the Bank and IDA—is approved (July)
1975GAB is renewed for five years (January)

Second oil facility is established (April)

Subsidy account is established to subsidize purchases under the oil facility to some members (August)
1976Sixth General Review of Quotas is completed and approved by the Executive Board, increasing total to SDR 39 billion (March)

Four-year gold sales program is announced (May)

Trust Fund is established (May)
The Bank’s authorized capital is increased to $34 billion (May)

Fifth Replenishment of the IDA becomes effective, providing $7.686 billion (November)

IFC Capital Increase is approved, raising capital to $650 million (November)
1977Principles are approved for the guidance of members with respect to exchange rate policies (April)

Supplementary financing facility is established (August)
1978Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement comes into effect (April)

Jacques de Larosiére is appointed Managing Director (July 1978–present)

Seventh General Review of Quotas is completed and approved by the Executive Board, increasing total to SDR 58.6 billion (December)
1979Executive Board reviews guidelines on the use of the Fund’s general resources in the upper credit tranches (March)
Structural adjustment lending is initiated billion (January)

Bank’s authorized capital is increased to $85 billion (January)

Currency pooling system established (July)
1980GAB is renewed (October)

Subsidy account is established to reduce the cost of the supplementary financing facility to low-income members (December)
A.W. Clausen is appointed President of the World Bank, IFC, and IDA (July 1981–present)

Sixth Replenishment of IDA becomes effective, providing $12 billion (August)

Bank’s authorized capital is increased to $86.4 billion (October)
1981Enlarged access policy is adopted (March) Borrowing agreements with Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the BIS, and four central banks are completed (May)
1982
1983Eighth General Review of Quotas is completed and approved by the Executive Board, increasing total to SDR 90 billion (March)

Jacques de Larosiére is reappointed as

Managing Director (May) GAB is revised and expanded (December)

The Bank’s capital stock data, normally expressed in terms of 1944 dollars, has been converted into current dollars on the basis of one 1944 dollar = 1.20635 current dollars. IDA’s subscriptions through the Third Replenishment, normally expressed in 1960 dollars, have also been converted at the same current rate.

The Bank’s capital stock data, normally expressed in terms of 1944 dollars, has been converted into current dollars on the basis of one 1944 dollar = 1.20635 current dollars. IDA’s subscriptions through the Third Replenishment, normally expressed in 1960 dollars, have also been converted at the same current rate.

Bank and Fund membership and operations, 1944–83

Sources: Bank and Fund data.

1Bank operations (IBRD loans and IDA credits) on fiscal year basis (ending June 30); Fund operations (purchases) by calendar year.

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