American in the Shadows: Harry Dexter White and the Design of the International Monetary Fund

  • James M. Boughton
Part of the Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics book series (AIEE)


The charter for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was drawn up in stages, starting in 1941 and culminating in an international conference held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in July 1944. The discussions and the drafting were led by John Maynard Keynes, the head of the British delegation at Bretton Woods, and by Harry Dexter White, the principal member of the US delegation. Keynes’s role in the process is well established through his published writing, his collected correspondence, and numerous memoirs and biographies.1 White’s role, in contrast, has long been obscured by the fragmentary state of his own documentation and by the fact that he was the leader of a team of US Treasury economists rather than a clearly dominant actor. To isolate his personal contribution requires delving into archival records with some diligence.


Monetary Policy International Monetary Fund Foreign Exchange Capital Control Loan Contract 
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© James M. Boughton 2009

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  • James M. Boughton

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