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The International Monetary System: A Look Back Over Seven Decades


  • Andreas F. Lowenfeld


This article offers a historical account of the genesis and development of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The original design and functions are discussed and subsequent changes described, in particular the advent of floating currencies in 1971 in place of the original fixed exchange rate regime based on the US dollar. Ever since then, the IMF has not seen itself as being in a position to assume its main functions among industrialized countries. In particular, surveillance based upon Article IV procedures did not develop and mature. The article recalls some of the most important interventions of the Fund and reactions by countries affected. It concludes by addressing potential functions of the Fund to prevent future global financial crises. Oxford University Press 2010, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas F. Lowenfeld, 2010. "The International Monetary System: A Look Back Over Seven Decades," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 575-595, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:13:y:2010:i:3:p:575-595

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    Cited by:

    1. Cottier, Thomas, 2011. "Confidence-Building for Global Challenges: The Experience of International Economic Law and Relations," Papers 206, World Trade Institute.

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