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A Bretton Woods stocktaking

Can the multilateral institutions rise to the economic moment?

By Barry Eichengreen  

Photo: Graeme Sloan/SIPA USA/PA Images

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, taking place this week, are for the global monetary and financial system what the Davos World Economic Forum is for business—that is to say, heavy on show and light on substance. It’s unlikely that a major initiative addressing the monetary and financial consequences of the Covid-19 crisis will emerge from the week. Still, the meetings provide an indication of how international monetary leaders see the challenges facing the global economy. And they…

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