The Development and Reform of the Modern International Financial System
The international financial system might be said to be in crisis. It requires frequent intervention by central banks and other national and international bodies to reduce fluctuations of currencies. It does not tend to eliminate current account deficits or surpluses; exchange rate fluctuations do not lead to movements toward balanced trade, nor do they appear to follow from flows of international reserves: some countries run persistent surpluses while others run persistent deficits.
This paper first examines the functioning of the modern international financial system in order to design a reformed system that will make it easier to deal with some of the problems that face the international financial system today. The paper advocates reformation of the international financial system along the lines of Keynes's famous bancor proposal. Most importantly, the reform would eliminate the current bias toward "austerity" that results from the way in which existing international financial institutions operate.