History

The Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee (RBWC) is a not-for-profit organization that orchestrates an open dialogue among high-level stakeholders committed to redefining the global financial architecture and monetary system to better respond to the changing economic landscape.

RBWC was established in 1994 by its current Executive Director, Marc Uzan, and was set in motion through an inaugural conference titled “Reinventing Bretton Woods” (New York City, September 1994). This event was organized for the 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Conference and was designed to address the need for the global economy to adapt to the emergence of new actors and circumstances not present 50 years prior. The proceedings of this conference were later published in a book entitled The Financial System Under Stress: An Architecture for the New World Economy.

RBWC has since organized numerous seminars and conferences covering many highly relevant topics and has worked with partners from across the globe. In its drive to stimulate debate and to generate a framework for new policy directives RBWC has become an important forum for prominent policy makers who want to put their thinking up for debate and into a market context in an exclusive environment that gives sufficient room for deep interactive dialogue and the opportunity to build strong peer networks.

Since the early 1990s the themes examined by RBWC revisited the rapid growth of debt (the Mexican financial crisis), major geopolitical developments (the evolving role of emerging markets), increased number of counterparties and market participants (the implications of financial contagion) and the development of new currency areas (currency pegs and introduction of the euro and RMB in the international monetary system). Specifically addressed were subjects such as regional monetary cooperation, China in the aftermath of the Asian crisis, the shifting role of major international organizations, and the establishment of an international bankruptcy court. The late 1990’s marked RBWC’s focus on bringing attention and fresh perspectives to issues raised during the G7 Summit, the IMF/World Bank annual meetings, and the annual meetings of multilateral development banks.

Since the creation of the G20 in 1999, RBWC served as an informal partner to this forum with whom it co-hosted and organized influential events focusing on global imbalances, reforming the governance of the Bretton Woods institutions, exchange rate debates, as well as capital flows and financial regulations at an international level.

In 2009, at the peak of the financial crisis, when the G20 was elevated as the premier forum for international economic policy, RBWC had been recognized as a valuable partner for the different chairs of the G20, helping each of them to identify priorities from past summits and to outline new objectives for their presidency. RBWC has worked closely with all G20 presidencies to facilitate dialogue and communication via the organization of numerous seminars and conferences.

In 2014, RBWC set in motion a program entitled Bretton Woods @ 70 which focused on clarifying the steps needed to adapt the international financial architecture to challenges faced seven decades after the Bretton Woods conference. This work culminated with the publication of a volume entitled Bretton Woods: The Next 70 Years, which includes numerous essays written by experts, authorities and officials worldwide as well as a foreword by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. This unprecedented volume (now also available in Chinese and in Russian) is rich with ideas that will help chart the course for RBWC’s efforts moving forward to reform the global financial architecture and achieve a more stable and equitable International Financial System.

RBWC is currently working on several ohter publications including a volume on the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis to be released in early 2018. This will be the first of three volumes being prepared in collbaration with RBWC's global strategic partern, The Maritime Silk Road Holdings Group.