Leading economies should consider adopting a modified global gold standard to guide currency rates, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said on Monday in a surprise proposal before a potentially acrimonious G20 summit.

Writing in the Financial Times, Zoellick called for a new system of floating currencies as a successor to the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate regime, which broke down in the early 1970s and involved measuring currency rates against gold.

The former U.S. trade representative, who served in several Republican administrations, said the new system “is likely to need to involve the dollar, the euro, the yen, the pound and (a Chinese yuan) that moves toward internationalization and then an open capital account.

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