New Bretton Woods Document Released

I have found another previously unpublished document from the Bretton Woods conference.

“Questions and Answers on the Bank for Reconstruction and Development” discusses the institution now better known as the World Bank. The document was prepared by the U.S. Treasury Department and distributed to delegates and journalists at Bretton Woods. It has been known and cited by historians, but only a few copies seem to exist in libraries, and it has never before been widely available.

The 22 questions and answers cover a variety of issues. Many remain relevant today, such as Question 4: “What is the appropriate role of the Bank in the field of international investment? Will the Bank compete with private financial institutions?” Others are now out of date but provide insight into how the organizers of the Bretton Woods conference expected the world financial system to evolve after the worldwide depression of the 1930s and the world war that was then raging.

The transcription of the document is available here. Photographs of an original mimeograph of the document are available here These efforts are part of the CFS Bretton Woods Project. They complement the CFS’s recent release of the hardcover edition of The Bretton Woods Transcripts, edited by me and Andrew Rosenberg.

I will have some short reflections on the document in a couple of follow-up posts.

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About Kurt Schuler

Kurt Schuler, co-editor of The Bretton Woods Transcripts, is Senior Fellow of Financial History at the Center for Financial Stability and an economist in the Office of International Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury.

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