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Hansen (1887–1975). Actually Viner and Hansen were not only witnesses of those events: they were engaged with the preparation of the Bretton Woods agreements and, more generally, with the shaping of the American strategy in the design of a new economic order after the Second World War. Their activity was mainly, although not exclusively, related to the War and Peace Study (WPS), a project set up by the Council on Foreign Relations in connection with the State Department. Several quotations traceable in the literature suggest that Hansen’s and Viner’s post-war planning activity was not a minor one.

White in redrafting his first proposal for the IMF and IBRD. 56 In May 1942 White’s scheme was approved by Morgenthau and sent to an interdepartmental committee formed by representatives of many agencies, with Adolph Berle, Herbert Feis, Leo Pasvolsky, and Dean Acheson serving on behalf of the State Department. Whereas the committee was intended to exert political control over the course of negotiations, a technical sub-committee, under the chairmanship of Harry D. White, was set up to discuss and refine the Treasury proposals for the IMF and the IBRD (Horsefield, 1969, pp.

More fundamental imbalances could be met with parity revisions, provided these did not afflict the stability of other member countries. A higher degree of flexibility could be assured by the power of the new institution to vary the international price of gold in order to avoid worldwide deflation or inflation (Viner, 1942a, p. 134; 1942b, p. 174). Anyway, unilateral action should be banned. Different priorities led the two EFG economists to endorse different solutions: the provision of a high supply of liquidity was more effectively guaranteed under Keynes’s plan, which was supported by Hansen; the restoration of exchange stability was the main purpose of White’s scheme, which Viner preferred on this ground.

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