Establishing rules of the game for the international monetary system

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Countries could use a traffic-light system to define new rules of acceptable behaviour. Image: Shutterstock

In order to avoid the destructive 'beggar-thy-neighbour' strategies that emerged during the Great Depression, the post-war Bretton Woods regime attempted to prevent countries from depreciating their currencies to gain an unfair and sustained competitive advantage. It required fixed, but occasionally adjustable, exchange rates and restricted cross-border capital flows.

In the post-Bretton Woods world of largely flexible exchange rates, elaborate rules on when a country could move its exchange rat

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