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. Magazine: Asian 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