May 06, 2022

Time for a ‘digital Bretton Woods’?


Journalist: Ben Schreckinger

In recent weeks, the future of the global monetary order has become a hot topic in the financial world.

Stiff sanctions imposed by Western powers in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have added to long-simmering questions about what the rise of China, and more recently, of cryptocurrencies, will mean for a system whose details were hammered out in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944.

Those are questions that Michael Greenwald has been pondering for a long time.

After spending seven years as a policy adviser and attaché at the Treasury Department, he called for a “Digital Bretton Woods” in 2020, and is still pushing for it.

He's referring to the historic 1944 agreement that laid the groundwork for a stable postwar monetary system based on the U.S. dollar. With China now moving quickly toward a digital currency, and independent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin on the rise, he'd like to see the U.S. convene its democratic allies to craft new standards for a world with digital money.

I asked Greenwald — the Global Lead for Digital Assets at Amazon Web Services, and a fellow at both the Atlantic Council and Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center — about central banks’ efforts to cope with changing technology and the prospects for a new global money summit (edited for clarity and length).

Read the full interview from POLITICO.


  • Michael Greenwald

    Member, CNAS Board of Advisors & Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security, Global Head, Financial Innovation and Digital Assets & Head, Global Executive Relations, Amazon Web Services

    Michael B. Greenwald is the Global Head of Financial Innovation and Digital Assets at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He is also heads up Global Executive Relations for the company...