Bretton Woods Origin of the Cold War

Economics, FREEPOM, Geopolitical2 Comments

Counter-Intelligence, Atomic Bombs, Operation Paperclip, and the Liquidation of the British Empire

Re-Posted from Sept 30, 2015.


The day was dull and mild when I stepped out of my truck last January in downtown Edmonton.  It had just snowed, the wet sloppy kind, and I splashed my way across the street and entered the Tim Hortons coffee shop on Jasper Ave.

The night before I had received a comment on the site which started with PLEASE DO NOT POST.  At the time there was no way for interested readers to contact me direct without submitting a comment.  The message was very concise and stated that there was information I could use regarding the Bretton Woods Agreement.

The series I wrote titled SDR and the New Bretton Woods had garnered a lot of attention across a wide spectrum of countries and demographics.  The amount of messages I received claiming to know secret information about what was going on in the financial world involved everything from the so-called Dragon Family, and other ridiculous make-believe groups such as the White Hats.  My reluctance to entertain such fantasy eventually led these people and groups to scurry off and seek attention elsewhere.

Though most of these messages and claims I ignored, and discarded for the silliness that they were, this particular message stood out in its simplicity and straightforward approach.  The writer of the message suggested I meet him at the named location, at the named time, but would understand if I didn’t show up.

Being I’m the person I am, and that it was close to where I lived and worked, I decided I would take the chance and meet this mystery person.  After all, what would I have to lose if it turned out to be a fraud or some weirdo seeking attention?  My ability to sniff out crap is sharp, and at times, to the partial detriment of the site, I have often filtered and deleted comments which I felt treaded into this land of make-believe and honey.

This particular Tim Hortons was on the lower floor and as I entered the shop I could see the street outside at eye level. The wet pant legs of pedestrians rushed past the high windows.  I quickly scanned the room and noticed a plain looking senior resting in the corner with a worn scarf wrapped tightly around his upper torso and neck, while a double-double coffee was cupped in both hands.

The man looked to be of Indian descent.

We made eye contact and I crossed the room in his direction.  Sitting across from him I leaned forward and remained quiet.  After a few awkward minutes he began to talk openly about the need for Canada to depend on foreign intelligence capabilities during the war, and the fundamental reason why CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, in later years would come to understand the role Canada played as the essential economic and military partner of the United States.

Some of the topics discussed involved how the CJIC, Canadian Joint Intelligence Committee, coordinated intelligence with both Britain and the United States during the war, and how Canada could not continue the policy of pre-war intelligence dependence on Anglo institutions.  It was considered that a reliable foreign policy would require a reliable source of intelligence gathering.  Considering the close economic and military relationship between Canada and the United States, a policy of reliance and common-purpose with the OSS (and later CIA) developed, and affected Canada’s foreign policy mandates in the closing years of the war.

Other topics which came up involved Soviet spies posing as Canada Post workers, and other such cold war era hysteria.  Intriguing though such things are, it was what was discussed about the Bretton Woods Agreement which caught my attention more than anything.

The interesting part was that he told me this information is not that secret, and in fact was, for the most part, widely accessible to anyone who looked hard enough.  It was suggested that the information simply wasn’t packaged and presented in the most accurate way.  A much more thorough and realistic analysis would better represent the events of that time.

From this conversation, and much research in the months after, I have come to the following conclusions about what happened at Bretton Woods and at the end of the war.

But first let’s begin somewhere between then and now.

Years after the Bretton Woods Conference of July, 1944, Walter Gardner of the Federal Reserve found a yellowing piece of paper at Princeton.  While salvaging through the personal papers belonging to Harry Dexter White from the time period of the American and British negotiations leading up to the conference, Gardner found the hand written note, which stated:

In Washington Lord Halifax

Once whispered to Lord Keynes:

“It’s true they have the money bags

But we have all the brains.”

The authorship of the note has never been confirmed, but it is widely accepted that Sir Dennis Robertson, the British economist who handled financial negotiations with the American’s during the war, and played an important role at Bretton Woods, wrote the note during the first Anglo-American discussions on how to structure the post war monetary system.

Some obvious questions immediately come to mind.  Such as:

  1. Why was an Anglo delegate, one of Britain’s top economists, writing a note to the lead negotiator on the American team, one Harry Dexter White?
  2. Was this note given directly to White by Robertson?
  3. Did White find the note and keep it?
  4. How did White’s role as a Soviet spy factor into the content of the note?
  5. What is the reference to “they have the money bags”?

The last question is an easy one to answer.  At the time of the Bretton Woods negotiations, the United States controlled two thirds of the world’s gold.  Whether this was through strategic accumulation, or some other covert means, such as mechanisms used by the Bank for International Settlements, the reality of America’s superior monetary position was clear.

The fourth question is somewhat more problematic and will take some explaining, as I am proposing that Harry Dexter White was behind a master counter-intelligence plan to maneuver the world’s most powerful countries, including Great Britain and the Soviet Union, into accepting, and ratifying a Bretton Woods framework which was structured around the US dollar as opposed to the bancor, the unit of account which was recommended by John Maynard Keynes.

During the 1930’s Sir Dennis Robertson found himself at odds with John Maynard Keynes and became very critical and unwilling to accept Keynesian theory and Keynesian policy.  What caused this rift between two of Britain’s most influential economists is not clear.

This division in the Anglo team at Bretton Woods would lead to the failure of Keynes’ bancor asset and the rise of the American dollar as the global reserve unit of account.  In this rift can also be found the seeds of the cold war and the refusal by the Soviet Union to ratify the final Bretton Woods agreement.

At Bretton Woods the British delegation was headed by John Maynard Keynes and his concept of the supra-sovereign unit of account which he called the bancor.

The American delegation was headed by Harry Dexter White and his concept of using the American dollar as the global unit of account.

The wording which was built into the agreement was very specific, as all 44 countries, including the Americans, British, and Soviets, all contributed to the framework of the agreement.  One area which still required clarification was surrounding the term “gold-convertible currency”.

Benn Steil, senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in his excellent book, The Battle of Bretton Woods, the following regarding this “inscrutable” term.  It is best to quote directly from the book:

“At the 2:30 PM Commission meeting the matter of the inscrutable “gold-convertible currency” naturally came up. The Indian delegate wanted to know what exactly it was: “I think it is high time,” he interjected during a lengthy technical discussion in which White had invoked the term, “that the USA delegation give us a definition of gold and gold convertible exchange.” At that point, Dennis Robertson, the British delegate on the Committee, apparently imagining that the issue was one of mere bookkeeping suggested that “payment of official gold subscription should be expressed as official holdings of gold and United States dollars.” This change would, he remarked incautiously, require wording changes elsewhere in the agreement. Bernstein concurred with Robertson that “gold convertible exchange” was hard to define, and that getting a definition “which would be satisfactory to everyone here… would involve a long discussion.” But as a “practical” matter, he explained, since national monetary authorities could freely purchase gold for dollars in the United States, and international holdings of currencies which might be used to purchase dollars were small, “it would be easier for this purpose to regard the United States dollar as what was intended when we speak of gold convertible exchange.”

“White must have had difficulty concealing his flush of excitement. With Keynes preoccupied managing the World Bank proceedings, Robertson had walked straight into White’s trap. He now made his second critical maneuver, peremptorily ending the Commission’s discussion of the matter. “Unless there are any objections,” he said, “this question will be referred to the Special Committee.” No objections being raised, he quickly passed on to another issue.”

“The next morning, 9:30 AM on July 14, Morgenthau began a meeting of the full American team by reporting cheerily that White had “worked up until three o’clock this morning with the Drafting Committee on the Fund and he feels [the text] is in excellent shape.” Morgenthau had no idea what exactly that meant, and likely no interest. But among the achievements of the committee, comprised entirely of White’s technicians, was strategically replacing “gold” with “gold and US dollars” throughout the 96-page Final Act. White never submitted the changes for consideration in Commission One, yet they would become an important part of the IMF Articles of Agreement. Keynes would only discover them after his departure from Bretton Woods.”

The statement which speculates that “apparently imagining that the issue was one of mere bookkeeping” which is attributed to Robertson is absurd considering he was one of Britain’s greatest economists.  Are we to believe that this peer to John Maynard Keynes would consider the use of one domestic currency as the global unit of account to be a “mere bookkeeping” issue?

The other part of the above quote which fails to pass the sniff test is the consideration that Robertson had fallen into the trap laid by Harry Dexter White.  Again, Robertson would have been much too astute to have believed that such a move by the American’s would not be made to the detriment of Great Britain, and other member countries.

The more probable scenario is that Sir Dennis Robertson, the man who was at odds with John Maynard Keynes, and wouldn’t support Keynesian policy, had sabotaged the original intention of the Bretton Woods negotiations by not communicating back to Maynard Keynes about what was happening.

As stated, Keynes was distracted by the World Bank proceedings, and didn’t even catch the fundamental change until after he had left New Hampshire.

Though Benn Steil brushes over these obvious discrepancies, his book is nonetheless resourceful and should be considered an otherwise reliable testament to what happened at Bretton Woods in 1944.

In Washington Lord Halifax

Once whispered to Lord Keynes:

“It’s true they have the money bags

But we have all the brains.”

Robertson sharing such information with Harry Dexter White is suggestive of a betrayal and a fatal division within the British negotiating team.  White would have been set on a mission to prove that the Anglo’s didn’t in fact “have all the brains.”

The Bretton Woods Conference took place in July, 1944, at the Mt. Washington Hotel in Carroll, New Hampshire.  The town was later renamed Bretton Woods to reflect the importance of the agreement which took place there.

The institutions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were created at Bretton Woods.

The intent of the agreement was to design the post-war global monetary system.  Though most participants approached the agreement from the multilateral framework point of view, the United States had other intentions.

America was positioning itself to grab control of the world economy from Britain, and prevent other rising powers, such as the Soviet Union, from gaining too much influence in the new system. The concept of a supra-sovereign unit of account, such as the Keynesian bancor, was never seriously considered by the United States and Harry Dexter White.  It was always intended by the US that the dollar would be the global reserve currency, or unit of account used in the new monetary framework.

White began planning on using the dollar as the global unit of account as far back as 1936, when he was a mid-level official at the US Treasury.  This would strongly suggest that the concept of the supra-sovereign bancor was never seriously considered by the United States.

The other goals of the US and Dexter White at Bretton Woods was the liquidation of the British Empire after the war, and the establishment of American hegemony.

The Soviet Union, originally onboard with a new monetary framework, and participated in the negotiations, refused to ratify the Bretton Woods Agreement.  This has never been fully understood, but after the fall of communism, and the release of once secret documents, it has become clear that the Soviets felt betrayed at Bretton Woods.

As stated above, the wording of the final agreement was altered by Harry Dexter White, the man who was considered by many to be a Soviet spy.  Considering the information presented here, it is highly probable that Harry Dexter White was successful in running a complex and intense counter-intelligence operation against the Soviet Union.

It was only when the wording of the final agreement was distributed that the Soviets got wise to the operation.  It’s not hard to imagine that White was feeding the USSR a steady stream of misinformation regarding the American position on restructuring the international monetary system.

The Soviets, to their credit, refused to sign an agreement which created global institutions as “branches of Wall Street”.  Dexter White, once considered by the Russians to be their man in Washington, had led the Soviets down the garden path, only to betray them in the final hour.

From this moment on the Soviet Union and America became locked in the early hours of the cold war.  What was once a great ally of the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, in the battle against Nazi Germany, now became a great enemy.

The actions and events which unfolded from that point in 1944 can be more easily understood through the context of what has been explained here.  But before we review that last segment, let’s do a quick review of the American goals at Bretton Woods:

  1. Peaceably and profitably dismantle the British Empire.
  2. De-Industrialize Germany after the war.
  3. Convince the Soviet Union to join the United States in a global alliance.
  4. Elevate the domestic dollar as the global unit of account.

Unfortunately the Soviet Union was not forced, or manipulated, into the one-sided alliance with America.  As such, the powerful Soviet empire had to be contained. At least from the American perspective.

From this moment the United Stated began a policy of isolating the Soviet Union and reducing the communist influence in the world.  The increased push on the military forces to reach Berlin before the Soviets is the most obvious representation of this change in alliances.

Operation Paperclip, the move to capture German scientists near the end of the war, was officially ordered by President Harry Truman in August, 1945.  This operation was directly mandated from the Bretton Woods goal of de-industrializing Germany.  The technological advances made by Germany during the war years had to be transferred to America, and not to the Soviet Union.

Also in August of 1945 the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Japan.  On August 6, 1945, a uranium gun-type atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  On August 9, 1945, a plutonium implosion-type atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

The speculation that the Japanese were trying to surrender all that summer has been reasonably proven.  The purpose of detonating the bombs over these Japanese cities had more to do with sending a message to the powerful Soviet Empire, as opposed to putting the final touches on an already defeated and exhausted Japan.

The other speculation is that America actually recovered the two types of atomic bombs from Germany and wanted to test the capabilities of each.  This would support the theory that the Nazi’s developed atomic bomb technology before either the Americans or the Soviets.

Back in the Tim Hortons coffee shop I was told to ask myself what had happened to turn the Soviet Union, who had become an ally of Canada after the Germans invaded their territory in 1941, into the monster enemy of the West for the better part of the second half of the twentieth century.

A part of the answer can be found in Canada’s need to depend on other countries for intelligence.

The threat of Britain being invaded by Germany originally pushed Canada into the waiting arms of American intelligence, as it had already been determined that Canada needed a reliable source of foreign intelligence in order to establish a reliable foreign policy.

The severing of Canada from Great Britain was one of the greatest intelligence operations of the war time period, and unfortunately, little understood outside of the international intelligence community itself.

It can be expected that many other countries which ratified the Bretton Woods Agreement found themselves in similar situations.  This, more than anything else, is why the Bretton Woods Agreement was written and agreed upon in 1944 before the German threat was reduced and eliminated.

Today, we are witnessing the transformation of the unipolar American dominated monetary system.  The original monetary framework which was intended back during the Bretton Woods negotiations is being strategically implemented in phases and segments.  There are those within the American economic and military machine who are resisting these changes.

The more we understand the economic and geopolitical machinations of the past era the better we can understand the economic and geopolitical machinations taking place today.  The events in Ukraine, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the South China Sea, are extremely telling of the manipulated outcome of the original Bretton Woods negotiations.

In Washington Lord Halifax

Once whispered to Lord Keynes:

“It’s true they have the money bags

But we have all the brains.”

Upon leaving the coffee shop I drove back home through the slush and puddles on the road.  There was much to think about and even more to research.  I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy presenting information regarding this restructuring of the international monetary framework.  There are many who feel I am off base and not trending the information correctly.

That may be.

But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s beginning to look more and more likely that there has been a counter-counter-intelligence operation orchestrated against American since at least 1969.  It was in that year that the International Monetary Fund created the supra-sovereign unit of account called Special Drawing Right, or SDR for short.

Though it is not the bancor currency envisioned by John Maynard Keynes, it is one step closer to the original intent of Bretton Woods, and one step further away from the imbalances and deficiencies caused by using the domestic dollar as the international unit of account.

The creation of the SDR was followed a few years later in 1971 when the United States officially ended the convertibility of gold and the dollar.  This convertibility was the “inscrutable” issue which started the problem in the first place.

The real problem now resides in how long will it take America to give in and accept the multilateral framework?  It can be reasoned that if further delays continue, the whole structure which has built up around the faith in fiat currency will be questioned.

This cannot be allowed to happen, and the Bank for International Settlements is already positioning itself to prevent this from happening.

“But we have all the brains.”

I have conclusively proven through many posts that the BRICS alliance is in fact working from the mandates of the BIS and the IMF.  The originally Bretton Woods alliance has reformed, and this time it is America who will be forced and manipulated into accepting a new monetary framework. It is my intent to continue providing valuable and accurate information on this monetary transition.  It is the defining event of our time.  – JC

JC Collins can be contacted at

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2 Comments on “Bretton Woods Origin of the Cold War”

  1. JC,

    “But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s beginning to look more and more likely that there has been a counter-counter-intelligence operation orchestrated against American since at least 1969. It was in that year that the International Monetary Fund created the supra-sovereign unit of account called Special Drawing Right, or SDR for short.”

    On previous posts of yours you mentioned the JASON Group. If they are connected to this
    “operation”, it would seem they were busy at this time with other things more important than their personnel detecting, electronic sensor grid air-deployed along on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War. The success of that sensor grid to detect troop movement remains in question.

    Thank you agian for connecting the dots here. Interesting that you should choose to to include a photo of Democrat Senator Harry Reid with his bruised face. Brings to mind an unfortunate picture of a whipped dog that is brought to obedience.

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