Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 7, 2012, 7:42 a.m. EST by flip
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The Bretton Woods system functioned into the early 1970s, a period sometimes called the "golden age" of postwar industrial capitalism. It was an era marked by high economic growth and progress in realising the socioeconomic rights of the Universal Declaration. These rights were a key concern of the framers of Bretton Woods, and their extension during the "golden age" was a contribution to translating the declaration from a "letter to Santa Claus" into at least a partial reality.
One basic principle of the Bretton Woods system was regulation of finance, motivated by the understanding that liberalisation could serve as a powerful weapon against democracy and the welfare state. An unfettered market would allow financial capital to become a "virtual senate" that could impose its own social policies and punish those who deviated by capital flight. Bretton Woods was dismantled by then US president Richard Nixon's administration with the cooperation of Britain and other financial centres.