International Monetary System Term Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Economics Type: Term Paper Paper: #13803492 Related Topics: Modest Proposal, A Modest Proposal, Monetary Policy, International Finance
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International Monetary System

In world trade, varied national currencies are swapped for each other by means of rules and procedures set by a system called the international monetary system. To delineate a general standard of value for the world's currencies, such a system is believed to be necessary.

The global monetary structure has always adhered to the organizational framework of the international discipline. In each stage of the financial capitalism there exists a corresponding monetary approach. The monetary structure during the postwar periods catered to the dominance of the United States. This was applied as a tool during the period to enforce the U.S. dominance over all its allies and the developing countries, irrespective of the socialist countries isolated themselves being unconnected from the influence of the financial and monetary disciplines of the global capitalism.

Gold standard was the first contemporary international monetary system. The gold standard contributed for the free exchange between nations of gold coins of standard specification during it operation in the late 19th and early 20th century. In that system, gold was the single standard of value. This system's control on steadiness was its merit. However, the world's delivery of money would essentially be restricted by the world's delivery of gold; this intrinsic lack of liquidity was a major flaw in such a system. In the period of 1920s, the gold standard was substituted by the gold bullion standard, in which nations no longer issued gold coins but backed their currencies with gold bullion and decided to buy and sell the bullion at a set price. In the 1930s, this system also was discarded. In the decades subsequent to World War II, international trade was carried out as per the gold-exchange standard.

With such a system, nations fix the value of their currencies not with regard to gold, but to some foreign currency, which is consecutively fixed to and exchangeable in gold. Most nations set their currencies to the U.S. dollar and maintained dollar reserves in the United States, which was recognized as the main currency country. At the Bretton Woods international conference in 1944, a system of fixed exchange rates was implemented, and the International Monetary Fund -IMF was formed with the mission of upholding steady exchange rates worldwide. During the 1960s, as U.S. obligations overseas pulled gold reserves from the nation, assurance in the dollar destabilized, directing some dollar-holding countries and speculators to look for substitute of their dollars for gold.

Extensive inflation after the United States discarded gold exchanges mandated the IMF, in 1976, to accept a system of floating exchange rates, by which the gold standard became outdated and the values of various currencies were to be decided by the market. In the latter part of 20th century, the Japanese yen and the German Deutschmark got stronger and became progressively more vital in international financial markets, while the U.S. dollar, though still the most important national currency, declined with regard to them and reduced in significance. In 1999, the euro was launched in financial markets as substitute for the currencies of 11 countries of the European Union; it started flowing in 2002 in 12 EU nations.

The latest wave of harsh financial predicaments has forced an attention in international monetary restructuring not seen since the breakdown of the fixed exchange rate system 30 years ago.

The wonder countries of Asia had experienced severe currency depreciation and profound economic dips, the chaos had leaked into Russia and Latin America, and a harsh liquidity disaster had temporarily endangered banking systems in the highly developed countries.

During the 1980s, the Latin debt crisis was generally regarded as the consequence of national policy errors and the innocence of U.S. banks rather than of faults in the international financial system.

The proceedings of the 1990s such as the European currency chaos early in the decade, the following introduction of the euro, the comparatively restricted Latin American crises of 1994-95, and the global financial outbursts of 1997-98, have forced many suggestions for restructuring. Whereas the current arguments on the international architecture have its heredity in the latest financial disasters of Mexico and East Asia, the fundamental problems have been challenged in some form or another for a very long time. For the past 150 years, suggestions for major restructuring of the international financial system have been many, with no scarcity of fine thoughts.

Regrettably, the most general result of these past discussions has been the limited fulfillment of impressive designs. The founding of the gold standard in the 1870s, for instance,...


The suggestion had the support of Germany and United States, but ultimately not succeeded because Britain would not consent to a small change in the weight and value of the pound.

The latest chaos that began in paragon economies and took global dimensions has stimulated much introspection within the economics profession on top of substantial anxiety about international monetary preparations as such.

Economists and policymakers had started inquiring some of their most fundamental viewpoints about suitable international financial preparations. Obviously, as Paul Volcker was to note at the conference, the most horrible international financial disaster in 50 years happens about once a decade, but that reappearance expresses a powerful message about the effectiveness of available preparations.

The recent anxieties have really fashioned action in the multilateral institutions, the LDCs, and the investment community. For instance, International Monetary Fund members have set up a Supplemental Reserve Facility to permit a more quick distribution of large sums to countries confronting an abrupt loss of assurance; attempts to augment revelation and clearness are in progress; and private investors are reassessing their risk management models.

Whereas these proposals may stand for a helpful beginning on better avoidance and management of financial disasters, latest events in Mexico and East Asia have exposed impending faults in the current international monetary system that may necessitate more basic transform. Moreover, the huge reversals in temporary capital flows that activated these breakdowns have encouraged appeal for developing countries to re-evaluate the dangers of open capital markets and the advantages of capital controls. In fact, the latest predicaments have mandated both academic economists and policymakers to query some of their most fundamental notions about the suitable design of the international monetary system.

Economists have conflicting, even opposing, opinions about the principal problems and their clarifications, and they do not forever disclose a methodical approach to restructuring. For example, while some reformers sponsor more adaptable exchange rate arrangements, others look for permanently fixed regimes, at least for some countries. Additionally, while most policymakers continue to be staunch supporters of free capital markets, some emphasize that unstable temporary capital flows played a vital part in latest disasters and contend that capital controls just might be helpful. Spectators also hold utterly contrasting notions about the international lender of last resort. Some think that the lack of an effective international lender of last resort has resulted in current disasters, while others agreed that large international salvages have created moral danger and more regular disturbances.

As for policy surveillance, while some analysts contend that mounting integration needs enlarged policy coordination, they disagree as to whether such cooperation should be accomplished through enhanced openness and market regulation or stronger international governance.

However, spectators have already drawn a series of important lessons from current disasters. Specifically, it is very much clear that developing countries must be cautious of relaxing their capital accounts without sufficient institutions for checking the reliability of their banking sector. Furthermore greater openness, revelation, and governance are critically imperative to improving supervision and reducing moral danger.

The present international monetary structure has multiplicity of currencies along with the premiere one dollar that exhibited a secular decline in value in comparison to the two other currencies yen and deutschemark. As a consequence this exerts two major sources of deflationary pressure. By connecting, securing or simply floating with reference to the primary currency, the dependent countries are compelled to both adopt the monetary policy of the primary country and also to keep away from operating on an overall balance of payment of deficit. Similar to the Breton Woods systems the principles are more stringent in case of countries exhibiting deficit in balance of payments rather than in case of the countries exhibiting surplus countries. In comparison to the mark, the system exhibited major devaluations in Europe during the past few years. This resulted in decline in the domestic demand in the devaluing country, since it has squeezed the monetary and fiscal policy to become more stringent so as to reduce the apparent deficit and attract foreign investments.

An effective escalation of the primary currency effectively however, generates deflationary trends in the country. Such order has enhanced the significant integration of the inflation and the long-term interest rates in comparison to the circumstances in the 1980s; it has unquestionably led to the declined growth and enhanced unemployment in many countries. Many of the countries have…

Sources Used in Documents:


Amin, Samir. Replacing the International Monetary System? - Current Failures of Global Economic Policy. Monthly Review. Volume: 8; No: 1; October, 1993. pp: 93-98

Holloway, Thomas. M. The International Monetary System: Essays in World Economics. - Book Reviews. Monthly Labor Review. Volume: 12; No: 1; January, 1998. pp: 158-164

International Monetary System. The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition. 2001. Retrieved from Accessed on 12 November, 2004.

Little, Jane Sneddon; Oliveri, Giovanni. P. Rethinking the International Monetary System: An Overview. New England Economic Review. Volume: 16; No: 1; November, 1999. pp: 24-29

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