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

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security, Senior Executive and Global Lead of Digital Assets and Financial Innovation, Amazon Web Services

    Michael B. Greenwald is a thought leader on the future of money and fintech innovation as well as a former U.S. financial diplomat, professor, and author with over 15 years of...