When many of the same experts who observed the 1930s became the architects of a unique new postwar system at Bretton Woods, their guiding principles became « more a beggar in your neighbour » and « the currents of control of speculative financial capital. » It was desirable to avoid a repeat of this process of competition devaluation, but in a way that would not force debtor countries to reduce their industrial base by keeping interest rates high enough to attract foreign bank deposits. John Maynard Keynes, who refrained from repeating the Great Depression, supported the British proposal to force surplus nations to import from debtor countries, either to import from debtor countries, to debtor countries or to debtor countries.   The United States rejected Keynes` plan and a senior U.S. Treasury official, Harry Dexter White, rejected Keynes` proposals for an International Monetary Fund with sufficient resources to counter destabilizing flows of speculative financing.  However, unlike the modern IMF, White`s proposed fund would have automatically countered dangerous speculative currents, without political strings being made – that is, no IMF conditionality.  Economic historian Brad Delong writes that Keynes was then proved by events at almost every point where he was rejected by the Americans.  A negative balance of payments, growing public debt due to the Vietnam War and the Great Corporation`s programs and monetary inflation by the Federal Reserve made the dollar increasingly overvalued.  The exodus of American gold reserves culminated in March 1968 with the collapse of the London Gold Pool.  By 1970, gold hedging in the United States had worsened from 55% to 22%. Neoclassical economists said this was the point at which dollar holders had lost confidence in the ability of the United States to reduce budget and trade deficits. Before the war, the French and British realized that they could no longer compete with American industry in an open market.
In the 1930s, the British created their own economic bloc to eliminate American products. Churchill did not believe that he could renounce this protection after the war, so he watered down the « open access » clause of the Atlantic Charter before accepting it. The architects of Bretton Woods had devised a system in which exchange rate stability was a priority. But in an era of more activist economic policy, governments have not seriously considered permanent interest rates, modelled on the classic gold standard of the 19th century. Gold production has not even been sufficient to meet the demands of growth in international trade and investment. In addition, much of the world-famous gold reserves were in the Soviet Union, which was to emerge as a Cold War rival with the United States and Western Europe. To foster the growth of world trade and post-war financing of Europe, Bretton Woods planners created another institution, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the five agencies that make up the World Bank Group and is perhaps now the main agency [of the World Bank Group].