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Contribution to Book
The Inadequacy of the Current International Monetary System
International Public Policy and Regionalism at the Turn of the Century (2001)
  • Robert C. Shelburne, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The poor economic performance of the global economy over the last several years is due significantly to shortcomings in the current design of the international monetary system (IMS). The economic crisis of the Asian emerging markets has been the most visible and obvious manifestation of the design defects, but the problems are much more systemic in nature. The current system 1) fails to adequately distribute global saving in a globally efficient manner, 2) is prone to "irrational" speculative attacks which wrecks fundamentally sound economies, and 3) has, at a global level, a deflationary bias which keeps global growth below its optimal. These design defects have been central factors in a significant number of global economic problems since the breakdown of the international gold standard during the First World War; these include the Great Depression, the breakdown of the inter-war gold standard as well as the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system, the inflation of the 1970s, the high unemployment rates throughout Europe in the 1990s, and now the current emerging market economic crises, and the recession in Japan. Global economic integration will ultimately require a global central bank. However, the public's desire for national autonomy will now only allow for marginal reforms in current institutions. Section I begins with a discussion of the "Japanese problem" which has as its source the international financial system's inability to adequately distribute world savings; the resulting Asian currency crises which have been created by "irrational" speculation are discussed in Section II. Section III proposes that the current system has a deflationary bias once disequilibriums occur. Section IV provides a summary.
  • International Monetary System,
  • Currency Crises,
  • IMF
Publication Date
February, 2001
Khosrow Fatemi
Elsevier Science
Citation Information
Robert C. Shelburne. "The Inadequacy of the Current International Monetary System" Oxford, UKInternational Public Policy and Regionalism at the Turn of the Century (2001)
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