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Examining Bretton Woods31:44
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This is a general view of a plenary session of the United Nations Monetary Conference in Bretton Woods, N.H. on July 4, 1944. Delegates from 44 countries are seated at the long tables. Sen. Charles W. Tobey, R-NH, is speaker in center background. (AP Photo/Abe Fox)
This is a general view of a plenary session of the United Nations Monetary Conference in Bretton Woods, N.H. on July 4, 1944. Delegates from 44 countries are seated at the long tables. Sen. Charles W. Tobey, R-NH, is speaker in center background. (AP Photo/Abe Fox)

British dominance of global finance came to a screeching halt in the modest rooms of a hotel at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. We'll take a look at the epic showdown that took place there and what we can learn from the architects of the world's financial system.

Guests

Benn Steil, author of the new book The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order.

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Wall Street Journal "One of the many merits of "The Battle of Bretton Woods," a superb history of mid-20th-century monetary affairs, is the timing of its publication. Today, as never before, central banks are printing money, suppressing interest rates and manipulating markets. You wonder where it will all end."

New York Times "In “The Battle of Bretton Woods”, Benn Steil, a senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, describes that effort from its roots and projects its effect on today’s conflicts among the dollar, the euro and the Chinese renminbi. Although America’s global dominance has long since melted away, no substitute is yet strong enough to shove the dollar aside, in part because of Bretton Woods."

This segment aired on March 27, 2013.

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