Launching new research
Report Oct 17, 2022
Modernizing the Bretton Woods Institutions for the twenty-first century
By Ajay Chhibber
The challenges that led to World War II have resurfaced and created the dire need for reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions. A new system to address these challenges requires the three core “Rs”—a revised global remit, an enhanced resource base, and a mandate to monitor agreed-upon global rules.
Report Oct 17, 2022
Changing Bretton Woods Institutions: How non-state and quasi-state actors can help drive the global development agenda
By Nisha Narayanan
This new report examines the increasingly influential role of non-state and quasi-public actors in global development and sustainable finance, specifically through the rising level of sustainable investments in emerging and development markets.
Report Oct 17, 2022
How China would like to reshape international economic institutions
By Victor Shih
Despite its size, China has an inadequate voice in traditional Bretton Woods Institutions. This paper examines aspects of the dissatisfaction China has with existing global governance institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It also discusses the proposed changes to these institutions according to discussions with Chinese experts.
Report Oct 17, 2022
The evolution of the IMF: A case for IMF 1.5 before Bretton Woods 2.0
By Hung Tran
Bretton Woods Institutions will face enormous challenges going forward. While ambitious reforms are needed, its unlikely they will be seriously considered due to high geopolitical tension and mistrust among major countries. Nevertheless, the need for reform is pressing. Therefore, it is important to look at more feasible reform, narrower in scope and technocratic in nature, to improve the these institutions.
What is the Bretton Woods 2.0 project?
The Bretton Woods Institutions were created in 1944 in the hopes that stronger international economic coordination would prevent another world war. Today, more than 75 years later, these institutions need to be revitalized and reimagined for a transformed global economy.
In an era of fierce geopolitical rivalries and unprecedented crises at a global scale, there is a profound need for reforms to the world’s monetary and financial system. But how exactly? What would a Bretton Woods system look like if it first emerged today?
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Some of today’s challenges would be familiar to the founders of the Bretton Woods System: think of the use of trade and tariffs to further geopolitical objects or the debate about international taxation; Some challenges were anticipated back in 1944, including the rise of new economic powers. And some challenges are wholly new; just consider the impact of climate change on the global economy and the proliferation of digital currency.
Governance and parallel institutions: Over the past 75 years the structure of the global economy has gone through major transformations including the rise of new economic powers, the emergence of more than forty regional multilateral development banks and financial institutions, and the rise of state-led international development finance. We will examine potential governance reforms in the Bretton Woods Institutions for them to remain relevant, effective, and efficient in the face of changing realities of the global economy in the 21st century.
Macro-critical global trends: Macro-critical global trends are challenging the capacity and ability of Bretton Woods Institutions to deliver on their mandates. Increasing frequency of extreme weather events, mushrooming sovereign debt, aging population, deteriorating supply chains, and growing food and energy insecurities are some of these trends that are undermining the stability and inclusive growth prospects in the global economy. We will analyze these trends as they relate to global economic governance while also keeping in mind that financial sanctions, industrial policies, and other forms of economic statecraft are becoming more common in today’s global affairs.
Future of money and Fintech: Rapid technological change and continuous emergence of new players and new public and private digital currencies have transformed the global landscape of financial industry. We acknowledge that Bretton Woods Institutions have important roles to play in this front and need to transition from simply reacting to evolving technologies and digital currencies to having a pro-active role in legal, regulatory, as well as technical discussions around these issues.
Non-state and quasi-state actors: Growing number of multinational corporations, especially the big tech, have market caps, revenues, and even earning that are greater than the GDP of majority of countries and are shaping the future of global economy and financial markets. At the same time, more than 130 Sovereign Wealth Funds, controlling $9.6 trillion of assets, and pension and retirement funds with $56 trillion of assets, are the emerging heavyweights in global financial industry. The Bretton Woods 2.0 project will analyze the role of these non-state and quasi-state actors in global economy landscape and what this means for global economic governance and Bretton Woods Institutions.
Featured work and analysis
New Atlanticist Apr 5, 2023
David Malpass on China’s role in the World Bank and how to prevent a ‘lost decade for growth’
By Katherine Walla
The president of the World Bank, speaking at the Atlantic Council as he prepares to hand over the reins to his successor, has one big worry about the global economy: a “reversal in development.”
New Atlanticist Apr 4, 2023
Five ways the World Bank can redefine its role in the global economy
By Nicole Goldin, Mrugank Bhusari
With a new president on the horizon and an appetite for reform in the US and beyond, the World Bank is ready for change. It can start by focusing on these five policy priorities.
Bretton Woods 2.0 Nov 30, 2022
A badly designed Ukraine bailout could backfire on the IMF. Here’s how to get it right.
By Martin Mühleisen
The IMF should stick to what it does best in aiding Ukraine: Using its macroeconomic expertise to corral broader support while sticking to its guidelines for its own loan.
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