Over a quarter of a billion people in 2022 are at risk of falling into extreme poverty. The global economy was anyway experiencing rising inequality even before the twin hammer blows of COVID-19 and the food price shock (made worse by Russia’s senseless war against Ukraine).

Ahead of the Washington D.C. meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) on `18 April, Oxfam International has published a report warning that “a wave of governments is nearing a debt default and being forced to slash public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel”.

Is it time for the IMF and World Bank to take a different approach? In July 1944, delegates from the Allied nations met at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire to discuss the post-WWII international monetary system. Critics argue that the importance of Bretton Woods is overstated, and that the financial system after WW2 depended more on US hegemony than on international cooperation. Nevertheless, is bold IMF and World Bank reform required now to prevent growing global inequality, and to support emerging economies struggling with inflation and heavy debt burdens?

What do our readers think? We took a set of comments from Cristina, Hamza, and Blugalf and put them to two experts on Bretton Woods:

💬 Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Globalisation and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD & co-author of The Case for a New Bretton Woods

💬 Angelo Federico Arcelli, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for International Governance Innovation – CIGI

You can see their answers in the video above.

Does the world need a new Bretton Woods? Is the global economy too dependent on the dollar? Should the IMF be reformed and stronger? Should we reconsider Keynes’ idea of an International Clearing Union and global currency? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

7 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    JT HK

    The Bretton Woods has collapsed. Do not waste time of everyone and send wrong signal to cheat the whole world anymore. No new order is possible/meaningful when the US and Russia are are fighting in Ukraine, when the US is trying to drag the third big military power and 2nd big economic power into the war.

  2. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    Sorry, I am not an economist with a plan “B”!

    So far, no man-made system stopped “protectionism, beggar-thy-neighbour devaluations, hot money flows, and unstable exchange rates”!


    What could & should be reviewed to make the present floating Fiat currency system equitable and flexible enough to outlast the previous (two?) attempts?

    Being either the $35/oz for Gold followed by floating fiats, representative money & the more than10,000 available crypts. Mentioning Bitcoin, plus similar good or bad luck synthetic speculations, based on people’s beliefs, emotions & manipulations.

    I wouldn’t trust Bitcoin or any other similar “digital”- by now more than 10,000 crypts- either, while there is only a total of 164 official national currencies globally- but only a dozen or so trustworthy & very stable ones available.


    What comes after failures in “Trust in Gold, Trust in Governments”, gamble with Crypto and/or other man- made or madmen systems? Surprise, surprise?

  3. avatar

    I’m not sure what that implies, but one thing for sure, we need an economy that functions fully within environmental limits, and therefore one that fully internalises the environmental costs of its activities, even in the long term. That means starting with a 200eur tax on the tonne of carbon.

  4. avatar
    JT HK

    The world is clearly heading towards a bifurcated one, when EU and a few US allies roughly representing 40 countries are standing with the US while the rest of the world with over 150 countries has refused to join the sanction. Any discussion in the name of the world should involve the whole world and in peaceful environment,. Absence of such peaceful and cooperative base, discussion is a waste of time.

    • avatar
      EU-Reform Proactive

      Hi JT HK,

      It gives me no pleasure to query some of your comments that reveal absurdities, irrelevancies, and inaccuracies. It exposes your obscure support and defence of Mr Putin & his horror show- referred to as “Putinism”!

      I agree with the widely held view that “Putinism” is a doctrine/ideology which has subverted & corrupted democracy in Russia and captured the Russian Duma & the whole state- step by step- since he came to power in 2000.

      I further believe that Mr Putin & his clique is well aware that he needs to protect his remaining life by remaining in power- by any means- to avoid being ever called to account.

      It will be interesting to follow his pre-programmed life cycle as dictator/president until 2036- when celebrating his 84th birthday- dead or alive!



      • By ignoring the meaning of the “Bretton Woods” – Financial Conference/agreement and predicting that “the world is clearly heading towards a bifurcated”? one- has nothing to do with Bretton Woods. Rubel, Rubel in the Woods?

      • It might have been that you meant that a unipolar world ‘splinted’ into a bipolar one. (=2)?

      • Again, it would be a nonsensical remark- because a bipolar world ended with the legal dissolution of the USSR in ~1990 and ushered in a period of a multipolar world. How can a multipolar world “bifurcate”?

      * Further, the UN condemned Russia’s aggression through the “Uniting for Peace” resolution. https://www.arabnews.com/node/2034866/world

      * To build a case instead of a non-UN= ‘private’ economic sanctions count is meaningless & mischievous confusion!

      * Most know that reasons to “afford” & impose economic sanctions are based on different Parameters.


      * Ultimately important- it’s the (political) UN vote which shamed Czar Putin’s Russia. It is the UN that is the global political judge & world conscious.

      * Never can an accused turn the table on the judge!
      F.Y.I.: 141 in favour 5 against 35 abstentions.

      * Further, Russia was suspended from the HR Council by a 2/3 majority. 93/24 (58). https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1115782

      I do not wish to follow others, who called you bluntly a “Russian troll”!
      Finally- yes, I know I wasted my time!

  5. avatar

    we need a Europe xhich care about european interests and european people instead of being the vassal of Usa a’d the submissive partner of China

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