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In a recent lecture delivered at the BBC, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, invited the audience to “rekindle the Bretton Woods spirit that has served us so well”, adding that “at such a momentous time… we need to choose the ethos of 1944 over 1914”.

Madame Lagarde’s strong defense of multilateralism is a welcome reminder of where we are and where we come from. As political and economic uncertainty has been growing in the first two months of 2014, there is a palpable risk that the world might be leaning towards 1914 rather than towards 1944.

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