Closing the world's financial markets while they “rewrite the rules”

Bloomberg reports that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said political leaders are discussing the idea of closing the world's financial markets while they "rewrite the rules of international finance."

Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Washington, and will stay in town for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.

Berlusconi didn't give any details about what kind of rules leaders were looking to change, except to say that leaders are "talking about a new Bretton Woods."

The Bretton Woods Agreements* were adopted to rebuild the international economic system after World War II. The IMF was set up later to help manage the international financial system.

[* footnote courtesy Noam Chomsky: Bretton Woods collapsed when the US suspended convertibility from dollars to gold. This created the unique situation whereby the US dollar became the "reserve currency" for the other countries within Bretton Woods.]

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