Time for another Bretton Woods?

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ON THE BBC — Stephen Fry is visiting 50 states on TV tonight. He stops by the beautiful old Bretton Woods hotel in New Hampshire.

More that 60 years ago, world leaders got together and sorted out a plan for the world economy. They set up the precursor of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund… and a need for each country to have a monetary policy. Those were the days when big decisions were made. Maybe the last time that big decisions were made.

But it feels like it is that time again.

You could argue that the world is more complicated and it is therefore harder to make those big decisions. The world economy is more wired, broader, faster than it ever was before. ‘You can’t touch this without affecting that,’ I can hear people saying. However, I would argue that much bigger decisions than were ever contemplated in Breton Woods are made every day now — by global businesses.

  • the price of petrol
  • the distribution of medicines
  • the speed of postal delivery
  • the availability of lending

I am not suggesting that government should be solely responsible for all of these. But businesses were not created to make sustainable, long-term decisions for people and society.


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One Response

  1. Stacey Derbinshire

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

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