Bretton Woods II: No Gold Standard


Frank Tang
Reuters
November 15, 2008

Gold surged on Friday as world leaders gathered to battle the economic crisis, amid talk of a new Bretton Woods agreement to shore up the financial system, but calls to revisit the gold standard are unlikely.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The gold standard, a monetary system of fixed exchange rates in terms of gold, had been the cornerstone of Bretton Woods, which created the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, until President Richard Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the standard in 1971.

Bullion, seen as a safe haven in market turmoil, has staged a $50 per ounce rally from Thursday’s intraday low, as funds bought heavily ahead of this weekend’s meeting, which includes leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies.

“I think the anticipation of something from the G20 meeting is helping gold,” said George Gero, vice president of RBC Capital Markets Global Futures.

World leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, have recently vowed to change the international monetary system created at the Bretton Woods, New Hampshire conference in 1944, which helped draw up the post-war financial order.

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