Britain calls for new world monetary order

LONDON, October 13, 2008 (AFP) – World leaders must meet to agree a new Bretton Woods system, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday, referring to the global financial architecture agreed at the end of World War II.

Speaking as Britain announced its latest move to try to stabilise the tottering banking system, he said the current crisis should be seen as an opportunity to push through delayed reforms.

“Sometimes it takes a crisis for people to agree that what is obvious and should have been done years ago can no longer be postponed,” he said in a major speech on the fast-moving world financial crisis.

“We must create a new international financial architecture for the global age,” adding: “We must have a new Bretton Woods — building a new international financial architecture for the years ahead,” he added.

The Bretton Woods system was set up at the end of World War II establishing post-war institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the precursor to the World Bank.

His comments came as European governments launched a multi-pronged attack on the financial crisis, buying into banks and approving hundreds of billions of dollars in loans in a move to stabilise panic-stricken markets.