The Bretton Woods system is a system with fixed exchange rates between the US dollar as the key currency and the currencies of the participating countries, which was concluded in Bretton Woods (USA) on July 22, 1944 and came into force in 1946. A total of 44 countries were involved.
Fixed exchange rates have the advantage that they offer calculation security and comparability. The aim was smooth global trade free of trade barriers. The US dollar was the key currency. The exchange rate was $ 35 per 30 grams of gold. The US central bank was obliged to redeem USD for gold. The other members of the system agreed on rigid exchange rates against the US dollar.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was set up for possible interventions should the Bretton Woods system get into trouble. At the same time, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) was founded, which today provides loans for developing countries. In 1973, after the US lifted its gold redemption obligation in 1971, the system collapsed. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) founded by the Bretton Woods system and the World Bank have survived to this day.