Bretton Woods for the 21st Century

June 4, 2021

How this year’s G7 summit could create a new economic order.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

A New Global Consensus

Reeling from a devastating crisis, questioning the economic assumptions of a generation, the international community gathers to address the challenges of the day and ends up forging a new global economic framework.

1944: The Bretton Woods Conference, at which policymakers defined the post–World War II order of fixed exchange rates and international economic relations.

2021: The June 11–13 G7 summit in Cornwall, where the Group of Seven countries could create a new economic order for a post-COVID world.

We’re in a Bretton Woods moment, explains Roosevelt President & CEO Felicia Wong—who serves as the US representative on the G7 Economic Resilience Panel.

“The Cornwall summit comes at a time that’s likely to define a generation of policymaking,” she writes. “Without international consensus on a new worldview and rules framework, we won’t be able to tackle the existential, intertwining crises facing our planet.”

Read on for four policies she says could define a post-neoliberal approach.

And for more from Wong, read her new essay in Ms. MagazineAsian American Power Is Necessary to Make AAPI Women Fully Visible.


The Latest Jobs Numbers, in Perspective

Ahead of today’s jobs report, Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal and J.W. Mason had a gentle reminder for reporters and analysts: “The trend is our friend.”

As they argue on the blog, zooming out from the monthly jobs numbers shows a heartening trajectory—but one that policymakers could imperil with rash action. “The big picture over the past year is a rapid recovery of employment as pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted,” they write.

“The biggest danger right now is not a month or two of surprisingly low (or high, for that matter) employment growth, but a panicked overreaction that pulls away support for the recovery—by, for instance, cutting unemployment benefits—before it is fully underway.”

Read on for their three tips for interpreting the jobs numbers.


A Climate-Forward Future

World Environment Day is tomorrow; get ready with Roosevelt’s latest climate analysis:

A Green Steel Deal: Toward Pro-Jobs, Pro-Climate Transatlantic Cooperation on Carbon Border Measures – by Todd N. Tucker and Timothy Meyer

Unsafe At Any Charge: Why Financial Regulators Should Actively Mitigate Climate-Related Risk – by David Arkush

Corporate Power Is Stalling Climate Progress. Public Power Can Help. – by Alice Janigro and Joseph Miller


What We’re Reading

What Is Climate Justice? A Framework for Understanding the World [feat. Roosevelt’s Rhiana Gunn-Wright] – Teen Vogue

The COVID Trauma Has Changed Economics—Maybe Forever [feat. Roosevelt’s J.W. Mason] – Bloomberg

Why It Took 100 Years for America to Learn about the Tulsa Massacre – Vox

What Would Reparations for Black Americans Look Like? An Expert Does the Math [feat. Roosevelt’s William “Sandy” Darity Jr.] – PBS NewsHour