Jill Moran’s Retirement Annuity
The International Monetary Fund was conceived in July 1946 during the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. The representatives of 45 governments met in the Mount Washington Hotel in the area of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, with the delegates to the conference agreeing on a framework for international economic cooperation. The IMF was formally organized on December 27, 1945, when the first 29 countries signed its Articles of Agreement. The statutory purposes of the IMF today are the same as when they were formulated in 1943.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the international organization that oversees the global financial system by following the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rate and the balance of payments. It is an organization formed with a stated objective of stabilizing international exchange rates and facilitating development. It also offers highly leveraged loans, mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters are in Washington, D. C. , United States . The IMF’s influence in the global economy steadily increased as it accumulated more members.
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The number of IMF member countries has more than quadrupled from the 44 states involved in its establishment, reflecting in particular the attainment of political independence by many developing countries and more recently the collapse of the Soviet bloc. The expansion of the IMF’s membership, together with the changes in the world economy, have required the IMF to adapt in a variety of ways to continue serving its purposes effectively. In 2008, faced with a shortfall in revenue, the International Monetary Fund’s executive board agreed to sell part of the IMF’s gold reserves.
On April 27, 2008, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn welcomed the board’s decision of April 7, 2008 to propose a new framework for the fund, designed to close a projected $400 million budget deficit over the next few years. The budget proposal includes sharp spending cuts of $100 million until 2011 that will include up to 380 staff dismissals. At the 2009 G-20 London summit, it was decided that the IMF would require additional financial resources to meet prospective needs of its member countries during the ongoing global financial crisis.
As part of that decision, the G-20 leaders pledged to increase the IMF’s supplemental cash tenfold to $500 billion, and to allocate to member countries another $250 billion via Special Drawing Rights. Purpose and Organization The IMF was important when it was first created because it helped the world stabilize the economic system. The IMF is still important because it works to improve the economies of its member countries. The International Monetary Fund was created in July 1946, originally with 45 members, with a goal to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system.
Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances (Condon, 2007). The IMF describes itself as “an organization of 186 countries (as of June 29, 2009),working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty”. With the exception of Taiwan (expelled in 1980), North Korea, Cuba (left in 1964), Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Tuvalu and
Nauru, all UN member states participate directly in the IMF. Member states are represented on a 24-member Executive Board (five Executive Directors are appointed by the five members with the largest quotas, nineteen Executive Directors are elected by the remaining members), and all members appoint a Governor to the IMF’s Board of Governors Reforms and Assistance The primary mission of the IMF is to provide financial assistance to countries that experience serious financial and economic difficulties using funds deposited with the IMF from the institution’s 186 member countries.
Member states with balance of payments problems, which often arise from these difficulties, may request loans to help fill gaps between what countries earn and/or are able to borrow from other official lenders and what countries must spend to operate, including to cover the cost of importing basic goods and services. In return, countries are usually required to launch certain reforms, which have often been dubbed the “Washington Consensus”. These reforms are thought to be beneficial to countries with fixed exchange rate policies that may engage in fiscal, monetary, and political practices which may lead to the crisis itself.
For example, nations with severe budget deficits, rampant inflation, strict price controls, or significantly over-valued or under-valued currencies run the risk of facing balance of payment crises. Thus, the structural adjustment programs are at least ostensibly intended to ensure that the IMF is actually helping to prevent financial crises rather than merely funding financial recklessness International monetary fund Statistical Activities The IMF compiles and publishes these statistics in a variety of publications.
Under Article VIII of the Agreement members are required to furnish the Fund such information as it deems necessary for its activities, including national data about their economic and financial condition. Article VIII also dates that the Fund shall act as a center for the collection and exchange of information on monetary and financial problems, thus facilitating the preparation of studies designed to assist members in developing policies which further the purposes of the Fund.
The Fund uses these statistics, in consultation with the member, as part of the fulfillment of the Fund’s regulatory function, to assess the member’s quota, and as part of the Fund’s role in assessing the world economic outlook. In addition, the Fund has developed standards for the classification and presentation of balance of payments statistics and government finance statistics. It is concerned with maintaining the accuracy and consistency in the reporting of the data.