International monetary systems

internationally agreed rules, conventions and supporting institutions that facilitate international trade

International monetary systems are sets of internationally agreed rules, conventions and supporting institutions, that facilitate international trade, cross border investment and generally the reallocation of capital between nation states. They provide means of payment acceptable between buyers and sellers of different nationality, including deferred payment.


  • The international monetary system is the glue that binds national economies together.
  • The problem is easy to state: developing countries borrow too much—or are lent too much—and in ways that force them to bear most or all of the risk of subsequent increases in interest rates, fluctuations in the exchange rate, or decreases in income. Given this, it is not surprising that they often cannot repay what is owed.
  • The global financial system is not working well, and it is especially not working well for developing countries. Money is flowing uphill, from the poor to the rich. [...] With nearly two-thirds of reserves being held in dollars, the United States is, in this sense, the major recipient of these benefits. If the interest rate America has to pay is just one percentage point lower than it otherwise would be on these $3 trillion of loans from poor countries, what America received from the developing countries via the global reserve system is more than it gives to the developing countries in aid.
    • idem, §9
  • The IMF has been encouraging, sometimes even forcing (as condition of assistance), countries to have their central banks focus only on inflation. Europe succumbed to these doctrines. Today, throughout Euroland, there is unhappiness as the European Central Bank pursues a monetary policy that, while it may do wonders for bond markets by keeping inflation low and bond prices high, has left Europe's growth and employment in shambles.
    • idem, §10

External linksEdit