First and foremost, there was a lack of sufficient time. Given the need to reach broad agreement among sovereign Governments, it took five years for the simplest issue, the establishment of internationally managed reserve assets, to be completed. The problems of the exchange rate regime and the control of the accumulation of dollars and gold in foreign exchange reserves have always been recognized as more difficult, as they affect more directly the various national interests and emotions. With more time, however, considerable progress could have been made. The exchange rate report, which I described as prudish above, could have been the starting point. Finally, the formal discussion on the establishment of an internationally administered monetary reserve began with a report by the EEC Monetary Committee, which concluded that the problem did not exist. On the exchange rate issue, it was obvious that things could not be left as they were. This was all the more true given that most other countries were increasingly convinced that something like the existing exchange rate arrangements would remain in place for a considerable period of time and that future negotiations on the exchange rate regime would hardly be influenced by vague compromise language in the amended articles of the Fund. They began to speak of the issue as a “theological” dispute that had no practical significance. So they were willing to accept almost any reasonable formula on which the U.S. and France could agree, and even hinted that it might be helpful for U.S. and French authorities to come together to create one. A series of bilateral negotiations followed, which resulted in an agreement at the time of the Rambouillet Conference in November 1975, and this agreement was then reformulated to adapt to the legal language of the Fund`s statutes with the help of its Advocate General Joseph Gold – which was not an easy task given that the governments of both countries had initially insisted on: that their compromise was so finely balanced that no words could be changed.
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. I do not find these arguments entirely convincing. The same U.S. power could now have been used to obtain a clause that the agreements would apply until an agreement had been reached on their modification or termination. And in the context of the large-scale monetary negotiations of 1975, there was more room for maneuver than later to take and take elsewhere. .