Whatever objections may be raised to the gold agreement, such as the enormous unjustified increase in international liquidity and the extremely unequal distribution of gold profits, its provision for non-pegging would have accelerated the exit from the monetary role of gold, without paragraph 5, which obliges countries to comply with these provisions for only two years. The fact that the United States accepted this two-year limit is truly astonishing and actually surprised the international monetary community when it became known. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that opinions on the future system to be sought are still very and fundamentally divided and that even de facto experiments with managed floating are not possible for a long time without reaching an agreement on the settlement of claims and the resulting debts between the monetary authorities. As we shall see now, no agreement has been reached on this issue. Does this mean that we can leave international monetary agreements as they are? I must strongly oppose it. First, the official convertibility of the dollar remains suspended. In a sense, this means that the US can repay its debt with self-created money, which has a direct impact on exchange rate agreements, which tend towards a system entirely centered on the dollar. So what is the Jamaica Agreement? So far, I have vaguely used the terms Jamaican agreement, describing it as encompassing all the measures agreed upon since Rome decided not to undertake comprehensive reforms. In fact, the agreement contains a broad set of measures. As early as January 1975, agreement on parts of the package appeared at the second meeting of the “Interim Committee” (which had succeeded the Reform Committee of the twenties), so that only a few final issues remained to be clarified in Jamaica.
In addition, the Office`s haste has led it to exert excessive pressure on countries to reconcile their positions there and then among themselves. This happened, for example, at the Paris meeting in the autumn of 1973 and led to a hardening of national positions, which were recorded by the Bureau as not being a unification. A quieter discussion and the possibility of further reflection and consultation at home could very well have led to more favourable results. The Executive Directors` report on the reform of the International Monetary System in 1972 had already addressed one of the problems created by the suspension of the convertibility of the dollar into gold, namely, what would happen to the huge dollar balances that a number of countries had accumulated to defend the old denominations. but the non-convertibility of the dollar made elimination impossible. In recent years, measures have been taken to reduce these risks. Nevertheless, the rapid expansion of the Eurodollar market means that it remains a weak point both from the point of view of soundness and from the point of view of liquidity control. The Agreement on Jamaica contains no provisions to address these problems. This was the inherent instability of the nominal value system when, contrary to the Bretton Woods assumptions, it was combined with the free movement of capital.
The difficulty was analysed as early as 1955 by the famous British economist J. E. Meade.4 Under the system of “adjustable anchoring”, as he called it, exchange rate adjustments are made only in cases of what the Fund Charter called a “fundamental imbalance”. But private institutions are just as capable as the authorities of recognizing a situation of fundamental imbalance. Indeed, various political disadvantages related to a change in face value inevitably lead the authorities to delay a necessary exchange rate adjustment. .