At no period since the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO) has it been a more opportune time to examine the work, reform and future of the international monetary and trading systems. In this comprehensive examination, the authors provide original, independent assessments of these institutions from both an American and European perspective and offer proposals for reform and improvement. The seemingly endless problems encountered by the IMF, WTO and World Bank provide major reasons for seeking reform. However, an additional impetus is the changing balance of economic power in the world. The volume begins with an overview of the Bretton Woods and international trading systems. Following this are discrete, in-depth discussions of the three institutions from American and European points of view. The authors emphasize the need for making the IMF and World Bank more regional in structure and, like the European Bank, more frugal in the lifestyles of their officials. Similarly, they call for a narrower focus in the mission of the World Bank and the IMF.
In the case of the WTO, they call for a democratic reform of the organization comprising participation by experts and, above all, better representation and support for Third World countries. Scholars and students of political economy, as well as those interested in the history and reform of international institutions, will find this an enlightening and necessary addition to their library.