Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Bretton Woods Conference

Sixty-nine years ago this month in July 1944, the Bretton Woods Conference convened at the Bretton Woods Hotel in New Hampshire.  Arriving in secrecy at the hotel were delegates from around the world, there to help establish an international financial system to help the world recover from the Second World War.  The link above is to a virtual exhibition that I helped to create when I worked at the International Monetary Fund.

There's a new book out on the work of the conference and the individual efforts of Harry Dexter White, the chief U.S. representative.  The book also sheds some new light on allegations that White may have been a Soviet spy.  The book is an excellent companion piece to the 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winning Lords of Finance.  There was also a recent article about White's alleged spying that appeared in Foreign Affairs.  When I worked at the IMF, I had the honor of spending some time with Jacques Polak, who was also a representative at the conference.  He told some amazing stories about the workings of the conference.

We've come a long way from those days in New Hampshire (and later in Savannah). The Brave Astronaut has a good friend who is coming out with a book in September on financial warfare.  I'm looking forward to reading it - you should too!

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