When the world economy heads into crisis, the international currency system often breaks down. This occurs either because debtors can’t meet their obligations, or because creditors fear they are not being repaid in sound money. The first condition exists today in the euro zone; the second is likely to emerge in the China-U.S. relationship.
Following is a timeline of the key steps on the road to the euro currency, from the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 to last week’s agreement to set up a “fiscal compact” among countries using the single currency.
The global monetary and financial system hasn’t maintained financial stability as well as the Bretton Woods system of fixed currencies and needs to be reformed, according to a Bank of England research paper.