International Monetary System

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International monetary systems
International monetary systems are sets of internationally agreed rules, conventions and supporting institutions that facilitate international trade, cross border investment and generally the reallocation of capital between nation states. They provide means of payment acceptable between buyers and sellers of different nationality, including deferred payment. To operate successfully, they need to inspire confidence, to provide sufficient liquidity for fluctuating levels of trade and to provide means by which global imbalances can be corrected. The systems can grow organically as the collective result of numerous individual agreements between international economic actors spread over several decades.
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With the growth of American power, the US Dollar became the basis for the international monetary system, formalized in the Bretton Woods agreement that established the post-World War II monetary order, with fixed exchange rates of currencies to the dollar, and convertibility of the dollar into gold. Since the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, culminating in the Nixon shock of 1971, ending convertibility, the US dollar has remained the de facto basis of the world monetary system, though no longer de jure, with various European currencies and the Japanese Yen being used. Since the formation of the Euro, the Euro has gained use as a reserve currency and a unit of transactions, though the dollar has remained the primary currency.
A dominant currency may be used directly or indirectly by other nations – for example, English kings minted gold mancus, presumably to function as dinars to exchange with Islamic Spain, and more recently, a number of nations have used the US dollar as their local currency, a custom called dollarization.
Until the 19th century, the global monetary system was loosely linked at best, with Europe, the Americas, India and China (among others) having largely separate economies, and hence monetary
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