The financial crisis isn’t close to over, said Sebastian Mallaby in The Washington Post, but Europeans are already trying to “extract lessons from it.” Under pressure, the U.S. agreed to a “new Bretton Woods summit,” after the 1944 meeting that “inoculated the world against a repeat of the Great Depression” and gave us the IMF and World Bank. It won’t work this time. World markets do need restructuring, but "photo-op summits” won’t get us there.
We need to do something, said Chris Osborne in Britain’s The Guardian, and if a viable new framework is possible, “we should attempt to create one.” A new IMF, for example, could work "to protect the system from irrational exuberance” by coordinating tighter bank and insurance regulations and acting as a financial “early warning system.”
We’re forgetting our history, said George Cooper in Britain’s The Telegraph. Bretton Woods I, whose “defining element” was a system of fixed exchange rates, “ended in ignominious failure in 1971,” with the demise of the gold standard. Bretton Woods II, pegging currencies to the U.S. dollar, helped create our current mess. “The last thing we need is a Bretton Woods III.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week