International Monetary Fund

The IMF was originally created in 1945 as part of the Bretton Woods Agreement, which attempted to encourage international financial cooperation by introducing a system of convertible currencies at fixed exchange rates. The dollar was redeemable for gold at $35 per ounce at the time. The IMF also acted as a gatekeeper: Countries were not eligible for membership in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—a World Bank forerunner that the Bretton Woods agreement created in order to fund the reconstruction of Europe after World War II—unless they were members of the IMF.