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The goal of this paper is to discuss the origin and role of the International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that was set up by a treaty in 1945 in order to help improve the world economy The IMFs headquarters is located in Washington DC 184 worldwide country representatives govern it The IMF works for global wealth by promoting the balanced expansion of world trade stability of exchange rates avoidance of competitive devaluations and orderly correction of balance of payments problems The origin of the IMF dates back to when it was created in 1944 at a United Nations conference held at Bretton Woods New Hampshire Representatives of 45 governments agreed on a framework for economic cooperation designed to avoid a repletion of the disastrous economic policies that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s During the 1940s economic activity in the major industrial countries weakened Countries attempted to defend their economies by increasing restrictions on imports but this just worsened world trade output and employment To conserve diminishing reserves of gold and foreign exchange some countries devalued their currencies and some introduced complex restrictions on their citizens freedom to hold foreign exchange For example the United States would not allow its citizens to exchange paper money for gold anymore The US wanted its citizens to trust the government These changes however proved self-defeating and no country was able to maintain its competitive advantage for long The international economy world trade employment and living standards in many countries declined As World War II was coming to an end the head allied countries thought up an assortment of plans to bring order to international monetary relations At the Bretton Woods conference the International Monetary Fund was born The country representatives created an international institution to manage the international monetary system and to encourage both the removal of exchange restrictions relating to trade in goods
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