Extended Supply Chains Are Going Away: What Comes Next?

During America’s Bretton Woods era, from 1944 to 1971, the International Monetary Fund was established and dollars were convertible to a fixed price of gold. One of the most important economic results of that time was the expansion of global supply chains to more and more nations. Southeast Asia, first, then defeated Japan, and later South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and even Vietnam and China—countries that had each fought bloody wars against the Americans—took full advantage of the security and market guarantees of Bretton Woods to make their peoples’ lives better. By integrating with the American-led global capitalist system, these nations all built societies that would have been unimaginable just a few decades prior. The former Soviet republics of Central and Eastern Europe sprinted ahead with much of the same vigor as their Asian counterparts. The quality of life has dramatically improved in these nations as well since they joined in the 1990s.

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