The international monetary fund


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The international monetary fund

  1. 1. International Monetary Fund Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the course in Economics At M.Com. Part I 2013-14 By Waghmare Shivangi Ashok Anjali Roll No-57 Guiding Teachers Prof.Kurusu Prof.Rangasai University Of Mumbai V.G Vaze College Mumbai 1
  2. 2. DECLARATION I hereby declare that the Project titled ‘International Monetary Fund’ Submitted by me is based on actual work carried out by me under the guidance and supervision of Prof.Kurusu and Prof.Rangasai. The contents of project are not copied from any other source such as internet, earlier projects, text book etc. It is further to state that this work has not been submitted for any other degree of this or any other university. Date: Place: Mulund Waghmare Shivangi Ashok Anjali Mcom Roll No-57 Prof.Kurusu Prof.Rangasai Guide 2
  3. 3. CERTIFICATE This is to certify that the project Titled ―International Monetary Fund‖ is being submitted by me in partial fulfillment of the course in Economics At M.Com. Part I during 2013-14. Date: Signature Waghmare Shivangi Ashok Anjali REMARKS Guiding Teacher Signature External Examiner Signature 3
  4. 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT At the Beginning I could like to thank God for its showers of blessings. The desire for explaining the project given by Prof.Kurusu and Prof.Rangasai. I am very thankful to their guidelines, support and the time given by them. I would fail in my duties if I doesn‘t thank my Parents who are the pillars of my life. Finally I will express my gratitude to all those who directly or indirectly helped me in completing my project. 4
  5. 5. Table Of Contents SR.NO. TOPIC PAGE NO. 6 1. Introduction 7 2. History 3. Financial Statement 10 4. Technical Assistance 15 5. Functions 6. 7. 8. 9. Criticisms IMF 17 23 30 Conclusion 34 Reference 35 5
  6. 6. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. Introduction After 55 years of existence there are strongly conflicting views on the importance and role of the IMF for today‘s international economy, and on its effectiveness. On the one hand there are those who see the Fund as having adapted well to the changing world environment with perhaps the need for some reforms to the International Architecture. On the other hand are those who believe that its useful time has passed in the environment of exchange rate flexibility and open capital markets. These radically conflicting views require the need for a balanced perspective on the role and performance of the IMF within the context of its historical evolution. In this paper we describe what the IMF is and what it does. We consider its origins as the guardian of the Bretton Woods adjustable peg exchange rate system and financier of temporary current account deficits for advanced countries, to its present primary roles as development financier and crisis manager for the emerging world. We consider the externalities or market failures that the IMF is believed by many to correct and the public goods that the IMF provides. Critics of the IMF downplay the extent of market failure and the scope of public goods provided. They attach greater importance to market solutions. We consider their views as well. The reincarnation of the Fund occurred against the backdrop of a series of major economic and political shocks: the oil price shocks of the 1970‘s, the debt crisis of the 80‘s, the collapse of the Soviet empire in the late 1980‘s, and the recent emerging market crises in Mexico and East Asia. These events served as a template for the creation of new Fund responsibilities, facilities and enhanced resources. As we document, the expansion of the Fund served different constituencies: the United States, the other advanced countries, the emerging countries and the very poor LDC‘s. Most importantly, the evolution of the IMF has reflected the geopolitics of the international economy, which we discuss in Section 6. We conclude by raising some questions that should be considered in the course of a serious evaluation of the IMF‘s role at the beginning of a new millennium. 6
  7. 7. History IMF "Headquarters 1" in Washington, D.C. The International Monetary Fund was originally laid out as a part of the Bretton Woods system exchange agreement in 1944.During the earlier Great Depression, countries sharply raised barriers to foreign trade in an attempt to improve their failing economies. This led to the devaluation of national currencies and a decline in world trade. This breakdown in international monetary co-operation created a need for oversight. The representatives of 45 governments met at the Bretton Woods Conference in the Mount Washington Hotel in the area of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in the United States, to discuss framework for post-World War II international economic co-operation. The participating countries were concerned with the rebuilding of Europe and the global economic system after the war. There were two views on the role the IMF should assume as a global economic institution. British economist John Maynard Keynes imagined that the IMF would be a cooperative fund upon which member states could draw to maintain economic activity and employment through periodic crises. This view suggested an IMF that helped governments and to act as the US government had during the New Deal in response to World War II. American delegate Harry Dexter White foresaw an IMF that functioned more like a bank, making sure that borrowing states could repay their debts on time. Most of White's plan was incorporated into the final acts adopted at Bretton Woods. The International Monetary Fund formally came into existence on 27 December 1945, when the first 29 countries ratified its Articles of Agreement.By the end of 1946 the Fund had grown to 39 members. On 1 March 1947, the IMF began its financial operations, and on 8 May France became the first country to borrow from it. The IMF was one of the key organisations of the international economic system; its design allowed the system to balance the rebuilding of international capitalism with the maximisation of national economic sovereignty and human welfare, also known as embedded liberalism. The IMF's influence in the global economy steadily increased as it accumulated more members. The increase reflected in particular the attainment of political independence by many African countries and more recently the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union because most countries in the Soviet sphere of influence did not join the IMF. 7
  8. 8. Member countries The 188 members of the IMF include 187 members of the UN and the Republic of Kosovo. All members of the IMF are also International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) members and vice versa. Former members are Cuba (which left in 1964) and the Republic of China, which was ejected from the UN in 1980 after losing the support of the US President Jimmy Carter and was replaced by the People's Republic of China. However, "Taiwan Province of China" is still listed in the official IMF indices. Apart from Cuba, the other UN states that do not belong to the IMF are Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Nauru and North Korea. The former Czechoslovakia was expelled in 1954 for "failing to provide required data" and was readmitted in 1990, after the Velvet Revolution. Poland withdrew in 1950—allegedly pressured by the Soviet Union—but returned in 1986. Board of Governors The Board of Governors consists of one governor and one alternate governor for each member country. Each member country appoints its two governors. The Board normally meets once a year and is responsible for electing or appointing executive directors to the Executive Board. While the Board of Governors is officially responsible for approving quota increases, special drawing right allocations, the admittance of new members, compulsory withdrawal of members, and amendments to the Articles of Agreement and By-Laws, in practice it has delegated most of its powers to the IMF's Executive Board. The Board of Governors is advised by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee. The International Monetary and Financial Committee has 24 members and monitors developments in global liquidity and the transfer of resources to developing countries. The Development Committee has 25 members and advises on critical development issues and on financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries. They also advise on trade and global environmental issues. 8
  9. 9. Executive Board 24 Executive Directors make up Executive Board. The Executive Directors represent all 188 member-countries. Countries with large economies have their own Executive Director, but most countries are grouped in constituencies representing four or more countries. Following the 2008 Amendment on Voice and Participation, eight countries each appoint an Executive Director: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, the Russian Federation, and Saudi Arabia. The remaining 16 Directors represent constituencies consisting of 4 to 22 countries. The Executive Director representing the largest constituency of 22 countries accounts for 1.55% of the vote. Managing Director The IMF is led by a managing director, who is head of the staff and serves as Chairman of the Executive Board. The managing director is assisted by a First Deputy managing director and three other Deputy Managing Directors. Historically the IMF's managing director has been European and the president of the World Bank has been from the United States. However, this standard is increasingly being questioned and competition for these two posts may soon open up to include other qualified candidates from any part of the world. In 2011 the world's largest developing countries, the BRIC nations, issued a statement declaring that the tradition of appointing a European as managing director undermined the legitimacy of the IMF and called for the appointment to be merit-based. The head of the IMF's European department is António Borges of Portugal, former deputy governor of the Bank of Portugal. He was elected in October 2010 Voting power Voting power in the IMF is based on a quota system. Each member has a number of "basic votes" (each member's number of basic votes equals 5.502% of the total votes) plus one additional vote for each Special Drawing Right (SDR) of 100,000 of a member country's quota. The Special Drawing Right is the unit of account of the IMF and represents a claim to currency. It is based on a basket of key international currencies. The basic votes generate a slight bias in favour of small countries, but the additional votes determined by SDR outweigh this bias. 9
  10. 10. Financial structure  Sources of Fund financing: (a) members quota subscriptions (currently about $305 billion); (b) borrowing to supplement the resources available from quotas (e.g., General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) since 1962; New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) in 1997); (c) Income from investments (Article XII, Section 6(f)(i)). Members quotas o Each member of the Fund is assigned a quota which broadly determined by its economic position relative to other members (economic considerations include the member‘s GDP, volume of current account transactions, and official reserves) o Determines a member‘s : (i) maximum financial commitment to the IMF, (ii) voting power in the IMF, (iii) size of its access to financial resources and (iv) share in any allocation of ―Special Drawing Rights‖ (SDR) o Quotas are reviewed every 5 years to determine whether any adjustments are needed in light of the growth of the world economy and changes in individual countries‘ economic positions. The Thirteenth general review is to be completed by January 30, 2008. o Members must pay subscription equal to their quotas. Up to 25 percent must be paid in reserve assets specified by the IMF (foreign currencies acceptable to the IMF or SDRs); the balance may be paid in the member‘s own currency o Voting power of each member  Each member has 250 votes (referred to as ―basic votes‖) plus one vote per 100,000 SDRs of quota. Significance of the basic votes have diminished from their original level of 11 percent of total votes to approximately 2 percent because of quota increases o A member‘s quota cannot be changed without its consent (Article III, Section 2(d)) o If a member consents to a reduction of its quota, the Fund shall within 60 days pay to the member an amount equal to the reduction (Article III, Section 3(c)) 10
  11. 11. Over time some member‘s quota‘s and representation in the Fund got out of line with the members‘ relative positions in the world economy. Thus there was need for reform of quota and voice:  Article I(v) – ―To give confidence to members by making the general resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments...‖  IMF financing can only be provided to deal with balance of payments problems; cannot be provided for other purposes or specific projects. The requested use of the resources must be consistent with the provisions of the Articles and policies adopted under the Articles.  IMF financing from the GRA does not take the form of loans, but rather the member receiving assistance ―purchases‖ the currencies of other members that have strong balances of payments positions or SDRs with its own currency. Fund arrangements are not international agreements.  IMF‘s resources are only meant for temporary use (―revolving‖ character) – a member is required to repurchase its currency within a specified period of time.  IMF financing is provided under adequate safeguards  Only if a member is prepared to take the steps necessary to address its balance of payments difficulties  Achieved through the member implementing a program of economic reform that deals with problem  Member can purchase the reserve tranche subject to representation of balance of payments need which cannot be challenged ex-ante by the Fund and free from conditionality, charges, or repurchase obligations  IMF financing is subject to access limits – provided on the basis of quota and the amount of access is normally subject to maximum limits specified by the IMF  IMF makes financial resources available to members in accordance with policies it adopts. Special policies may be adopted for special balance of payment problems to assist members to solve their problems in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Articles of Agreement (Article V, Section 3). Examples of policies: policy on stand-by arrangements, extended Fund facility, supplemental reserve facility, emergency natural disaster and emergency post conflict assistance).  A member can walk away from the arrangement/program and repay outstanding Fund resources at any time. 11
  12. 12.  Conditionality seeks to ensure that IMF resources are provided to assist the member in resolving its balance of payments problems in a manner that is consistent with the Articles and establishes adequate safeguards for the temporary use of IMF resources.  Principle of uniform treatment - the use of IMF resources is based on the uniform and nondiscriminatory treatment of members.  Members must provide the Fund with information necessary for it to carry out its functions (Article VIII, Section 5).  The Fund also provides concessional financing to qualifying members under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF). Some other obligations under the Articles of Agreement  Article V, Section 3(e): Obligations to ensure exchange of members‘ currencies for freely usable currencies  Article VIII, Section 5: Obligation to Furnish Information  The IMF relies on information provided by members in order to carry out its mandate and functions effectively. IMF acts ―as a centre for the collection and exchange of information on monetary and financial problems‖.  The procedures for obtaining data from members are founded on a cooperative approach and trust in members to provide the required information accurately.  Information is important for effective surveillance and ensuring that the IMF‘s resources are used for their intended purposes. Section 5(a) requires members to provide the IMF with the information ―necessary‖ for its activities; thus Article VIII, Section 5 applies both in the context of use of the IMF resources and surveillance. .  The required minimum of data is listed in Article VIII, Section 5. The list was expanded by Executive Board Decision No. 13183-(04/10), January 4, 2004 on Strengthening the Effectiveness of Article VIII, Section 5  Obligation to provide information is continuous, not just limited to provision of data at time of Article IV consultations. 12
  13. 13.  Obligation is not absolute, must take into account varying abilities of members to provide information—defense of capacity; ―benefit of any doubt‖ given to member in assessing its ability to provide information (Article VIII, Section 5(b)):  Section 5(b) only calls for information to be furnished ―in as detailed and accurate a manner as is practicable and, so far as possible, to avoid mere estimates‖.  Not in such detail that affairs of individuals or corporations are disclosed.  International investment position (IIP): so far as it is possible to furnish this information.  No breach of obligation if failure to provide information/accurate information is due to lack of capacity.  Whether a member has capacity is determined on a case-by-case basis.  Members have an ongoing obligation to improve their reporting systems and the accuracy of information provided.  Section 5(c) deals mostly with the IMF‘s authority to enter into voluntary arrangements with members ―to obtain further information‖.  Article VIII, Section 2: members shall not, without the approval of the Fund, impose restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions  Payments for current transactions means payments which are not for the purpose of transferring capital (Article XXX)  The Fund may approve exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices under certain circumstances (e.g., if necessary (imposed for BOP reasons), temporary and non-discriminatory, if imposed for national security reasons) 13
  14. 14.  Article VIII, Section 3: members shall not, without Fund‘s approval, engage, or permit any of its fiscal agencies to engage in, any discriminatory currency arrangements or multiple currency practices. Exception – transitional arrangements under Article XIV.  Article VIII, Section 4: obligation on convertibility of foreign-held balances  Article XIV allows members to avail themselves of transitional arrangements before accepting obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2,3 and 4. A member may ―maintain and adapt to changing circumstances the exchange restrictions that were in effect on the date on which it became a member‖ but should make efforts to remove those restrictions as soon as they can.  Article VIII, Section 7: members shall collaborate with the Fund and with other members to ensure that the members‘ policies with respect to reserve assets shall be consistent with the objectives of promoting better international surveillance of international liquidity  Article IX: members shall grant certain privileges and immunities to the Fund, its officers and employees, premises, property, assets and archives  Article XI: relations with non-members. Members cannot engage in transactions or cooperate with non-members or with persons in non-member territories if such transactions or cooperation is contrary to the provisions of the Articles of Agreement  Article XII, Section 8: the Fund may, by a 70 percent majority of the total voting power, decide to publish a report made to a member regarding its monetary or economic conditions and developments which directly tend to produce a serious disequilibrium in the international balance of payment of members. 14
  15. 15. Technical assistance  Services provided under Article V, Section 2(b) shall not impose any obligation on a member without its consent  Administration of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Exogenous Shocks Facility (PRGF-ESF) Trust (1987) and PRGF-HIPC Trust are examples of financial services provided under this Article  The PRGF is a concessional lending facility for low-income members (annual interest rate of 0.5 percent, loan maturity stretching from five-anda-half to 10 years).  Resources from the PRGF-HIPC Trust are used for debt relief operations.  Other examples of technical assistance: in fiscal area (drafting of tax or budget legislation); in statistics (helping to set a framework for collection and analysis of data); banking sector reform (banking laws, supervision matters, financial sector restructuring); law reform (judicial reform). Mainly in support of private sector development. Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs):  summarize countries‘ observance of certain internationally recognized standards and codes. The Fund has recognized 12 areas and associated standards: accounting; auditing; anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT); banking supervision; corporate governance; data dissemination; fiscal transparency; insolvency and creditor rights; insurance supervision; monetary and financial policy transparency; payments systems; securities regulation; and AML/CFT;  are prepared and published at the request of the member country.  Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP): a joint IMF and World Bank effort introduced in May 1999 aimed at increasing the effectiveness of efforts to promote the soundness of financial systems in member countries.  The FSAP forms the basis of Financial System Stability Assessments (FSSAs), in which IMF staff address issues of relevance to IMF surveillance, including risks to macroeconomic stability stemming from the financial sector  Current challenge – better incorporate financial sector work into Fund surveillance  Technical services are provided by the IMF staff under the authority of the Managing Director 15
  16. 16. Key IMF activities The IMF supports its membership by providing policy advice to governments and central banks based on analysis of economic trends and cross-country experiences, research, statistics, forecasts, and analysis based on tracking of global, regional, and individual economies and markets; loans to help countries overcome economic difficulties; concessional loans to help fight poverty in developing countries; and technical assistance and training to help countries improve the management of their economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries. The IMF's stated goal was to assist in the reconstruction of the world's international payment system post–World War II. Countries contribute money to a pool through a quota system from which countries with payment imbalances can borrow funds temporarily. Through this activity and others such as surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for self-correcting policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries. The IMF describes itself as ―an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.‖The organization's stated objectives are to promote international economic co-operation, international trade, employment, and exchange rate stability, including by making financial resources available to member countries to meet balance of payments needs. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., United States. 16
  17. 17. Functions The IMF works to foster global growth and economic stability. It provides policy advice and financing to members in economic difficulties and also works with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty. The rationale for this is that private international capital markets function imperfectly and many countries have limited access to financial markets. Such market imperfections, together with balance of payments financing, provide the justification for official financing, without which many countries could only correct large external payment imbalances through measures with adverse effects on both national and international economic prosperity. The IMF can provide other sources of financing to countries in need that would not be available in the absence of an economic stabilization program supported by the Fund. Upon initial IMF formation, its two primary functions were: to oversee the fixed exchange rate arrangements between countries, thus helping national governments manage their exchange rates and allowing these governments to prioritise economic growth, and to provide short-term capital to aid balance-of-payments. This assistance was meant to prevent the spread of international economic crises. The Fund was also intended to help mend the pieces of the international economy post the Great Depression and World War II. The IMF's role was fundamentally altered after the floating exchange rates post 1971. It shifted to examining the economic policies of countries with IMF loan agreements to determine if a shortage of capital was due to economic fluctuations or economic policy. The IMF also researched what types of government policy would ensure economic recovery. The new challenge is to promote and implement policy that reduces the frequency of crises among the emerging market countries, especially the middle-income countries that are open to massive capital outflows. Rather than maintaining a position of oversight of only exchange rates, their function became one of ―surveillance‖ of the overall macroeconomic performance of its member countries. Their role became a lot more active because the IMF now manages economic policy instead of just exchange rates. In addition, the IMF negotiates conditions on lending and loans under their policy of conditionality, which was established in the 1950s. Low-income countries can borrow on concessional terms, which means there is a period of time with no interest rates, through the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), the Standby Credit Facility (SCF) and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Non-concessional loans, which include interest rates, are provided mainly through StandBy Arrangements (SBA), the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), and the Extended Fund Facility. The IMF provides emergency assistance via the newly introduced Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to all its members facing urgent balance of payments needs. 17
  18. 18. Surveillance of the global economy The IMF is mandated to oversee the international monetary and financial system[12] and monitor the economic and financial policies of its 188 member countries. This activity is known as surveillance and facilitates international co-operation.[13] Since the demise of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, surveillance has evolved largely by way of changes in procedures rather than through the adoption of new obligations.[12] The responsibilities of the Fund changed from those of guardian to those of overseer of members‘ policies. The Fund typically analyses the appropriateness of each member country‘s economic and financial policies for achieving orderly economic growth, and assesses the consequences of these policies for other countries and for the global economy. In 1995 the International Monetary Fund began work on data dissemination standards with the view of guiding IMF member countries to disseminate their economic and financial data to the public. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) endorsed the guidelines for the dissemination standards and they were split into two tiers: The General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). The International Monetary Fund executive board approved the SDDS and GDDS in 1996 and 1997 respectively, and subsequent amendments were published in a revised Guide to the General Data Dissemination System. The system is aimed primarily at statisticians and aims to improve many aspects of statistical systems in a country. It is also part of the World Bank Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction Strategic Papers. The primary objective of the GDDS is to encourage IMF member countries to build a framework to improve data quality and increase statistical capacity building. Upon building a framework, a country can evaluate statistical needs, set priorities in improving the timeliness, transparency, reliability and accessibility of financial and economic data. Some countries initially used the GDDS, but later upgraded to SDDS. 18
  19. 19. Conditionality of loans IMF conditionality is a set of policies or conditions that the IMF requires in exchange for financial resources. The IMF does not require collateral from countries for loans but rather requires the government seeking assistance to correct its macroeconomic imbalances in the form of policy reform. If the conditions are not met, the funds are withheld.[6] Conditionality is perhaps the most controversial aspect of IMF policies. The concept of conditionality was introduced in an Executive Board decision in 1952 and later incorporated in the Articles of Agreement. Conditionality is associated with economic theory as well as an enforcement mechanism for repayment. Stemming primarily from the work of Jacques Polak in the Fund's research department, the theoretical underpinning of conditionality was the "monetary approach to the balance of payments. Structural adjustment            Some of the conditions for structural adjustment can include: Cutting expenditures, also known as austerity. Focusing economic output on direct export and resource extraction, Devaluation of currencies, Trade liberalisation, or lifting import and export restrictions, Increasing the stability of investment (by supplementing foreign direct investment with the opening of domestic stock markets), Balancing budgets and not overspending, Removing price controls and state subsidies, Privatization, or divestiture of all or part of state-owned enterprises, Enhancing the rights of foreign investors vis-a-vis national laws, Improving governance and fighting corruption. 19
  20. 20. Benefits These loan conditions ensure that the borrowing country will be able to repay the Fund and that the country won't attempt to solve their balance of payment problems in a way that would negatively impact the international economy. The incentive problem of moral hazard, which is the actions of economic agents maximising their own utility to the detriment of others when they do not bear the full consequences of their actions, is mitigated through conditions rather than providing collateral; countries in need of IMF loans do not generally possess internationally valuable collateral anyway. Conditionality also reassures the IMF that the funds lent to them will be used for the purposes defined by the Articles of Agreement and provides safeguards that country will be able to rectify its macroeconomic and structural imbalances. In the judgment of the Fund, the adoption by the member of certain corrective measures or policies will allow it to repay the Fund, thereby ensuring that the same resources will be available to support other members. As of 2004, borrowing countries have had a very good track record for repaying credit extended under the Fund's regular lending facilities with full interest over the duration of the loan. This indicates that Fund lending does not impose a burden on creditor countries, as lending countries receive market-rate interest on most of their quota subscription, plus any of their own-currency subscriptions that are loaned out by the Fund, plus all of the reserve assets that they provide the Fund. Reforms The IMF is only one of many international organisations and it is a generalist institution for macroeconomic issues only; its core areas of concern in developing countries are very narrow. One proposed reform is a movement towards close partnership with other specialist agencies to better productivity. The IMF has little to no communication with other international organisations such as UN specialist agencies like UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Jeffrey Sachs argues in The End of Poverty: "international institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have the brightest economists and the lead in advising poor countries on how to break out of poverty, but the problem is development economics". Development economics needs the reform, not the IMF. He also notes that IMF loan conditions need to be partnered with other reforms such as trade reform in developed nations, debt cancellation, and increased financial assistance for investments in basic infrastructure to be effective. IMF loan conditions cannot stand alone and produce change; they need to be partnered with other reforms or other conditions as applicable. 20
  21. 21. Effects of the quota system The IMF's quota system was created to raise funds for loans. Each IMF member country is assigned a quota, or contribution, that reflects the country's relative size in the global economy. Each member's quota also determines its relative voting power. Thus, financial contributions from member governments are linked to voting power in the organisation. This system follows the logic of a shareholder-controlled organization, wealthy countries have more say in the making and revision of rules. Since decision making at the IMF reflects each member's relative economic position in the world, wealthier countries that provide more money to the fund have more influence in the IMF than poorer members that contribute less; nonetheless, the IMF focuses on redistribution. Developing countries Quotas are normally reviewed every five years and can be increased when deemed necessary by the Board of Governors. Currently, reforming the representation of developing countries within the IMF has been suggested. These countries' economies represent a large portion of the global economic system but this is not reflected in the IMF's decision making process through the nature of the quota system. Joseph Stiglitz argues "There is a need to provide more effective voice and representation for developing countries, which now represent a much larger portion of world economic activity since 1944, when the IMF was created."In 2008, a number of quota reforms were passed including shifting 6% of quota shares to dynamic emerging markets and developing countries. United States influence A second criticism is that the United States' transition to neo liberalism and global capitalism also led to a change in the identity and functions of international institutions like the IMF. Because of the high involvement and voting power of the United States, the global economic ideology could effectively be transformed to match the US's. This is consistent with the IMF's function change during the 1970s after the Nixon Shock ended the Bretton Woods system. Another criticism is that allies of the United States are able to receive bigger loans with fewer conditions. 21
  22. 22. Overcoming borrower/creditor divide The IMF's membership is divided along income lines: certain countries provide the financial resources while others use these resources. Both developed country "creditors" and developing country "borrowers" are members of the IMF. The developed countries provide the financial resources but rarely enter into IMF loan agreements; they are the creditors. Conversely, the developing countries use the lending services but contribute little to the pool of money available to lend because their quotas are smaller; they are the borrowers. Thus, tension is created around governance issues because these two groups, creditors and borrowers, have fundamentally different interests in terms of the conditions of these loans. The criticism is that the system of voting power distribution through a quota system institutionalises borrower subordination and creditor dominance. The resulting division of the Fund's membership into borrowers and non-borrowers has increased the controversy around conditionality because the borrowing members are interested in making loan access easier while the creditor members want to maintain reassurance that the loans will be repaid IMF and globalization Globalization encompasses three institutions: global financial markets and transnational companies, national governments linked to each other in economic and military alliances led by the US, and rising "global governments" such as World Trade Organization (WTO), IMF, and World Bank.[62] Charles Derber argues in his book People Before Profit, "These interacting institutions create a new global power system where sovereignty is globalized, taking power and constitutional authority away from nations and giving it to global markets and international bodies."Titus Alexander argues that this system institutionalises global inequality between western countries and the Majority World in a form of global apartheid, in which the IMF is a key pillar. The establishment of globalised economic institutions has been both a symptom of and a stimulus for globalisation. The development of the World Bank, the IMF regional development banks such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and, more recently, multilateral trade institutions such as the WTO indicates the trend away from the dominance of the state as the exclusive unit of analysis in international affairs. Globalization has thus been transformative in terms of a reconceptualising of state sovereignty. Following US President Bill Clinton's administration's aggressive financial deregulation campaign in the 1990s, globalisation leaders overturned long-standing restrictions by governments that limited foreign ownership of their banks, deregulated currency exchange, and eliminated restrictions on how quickly money could be withdrawn by foreign investors. 22
  23. 23. Criticisms  Overseas Development Institute (ODI) research undertaken in 1980 pointed to five main criticisms of the IMF which support the analysis that it is a pillar of what activist Titus Alexander calls global apartheid. Firstly, developed countries were seen to have a more dominant role and control over less developed countries (LDCs) primarily due to the Western bias towards a capitalist form of the world economy with professional staff being Western trained and believing in the efficacy of market-oriented policies.  Secondly, the Fund worked on the incorrect assumption that all payments disequilibria were caused domestically. The Group of 24 (G-24), on behalf of LDC members, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) complained that the Fund did not distinguish sufficiently between disequilibria with predominantly external as opposed to internal causes. This criticism was voiced in the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis. Then LDCs found themselves with payments deficits due to adverse changes in their terms of trade, with the Fund prescribing stabilisation programmes similar to those suggested for deficits caused by government over-spending. Faced with long-term, externally generated disequilibria, the Group of 24 argued that LDCs should be allowed more time to adjust their economies and that the policies needed to achieve such adjustment are different from demand-management programmes devised primarily with internally generated disequilibria in mind.  The third criticism was that the effects of Fund policies were anti-developmental. The deflationary effects of IMF programmes quickly led to losses of output and employment in economies where incomes were low and unemployment was high. Moreover, it was sometimes claimed that the burden of the deflationary effects was borne disproportionately by the poor.  Fourthly is the accusation that harsh policy conditions were self-defeating where a vicious circle developed when members refused loans due to harsh conditionality, making their economy worse and eventually taking loans as a drastic medicine.  Lastly is the point that the Fund's policies lack a clear economic rationale. Its policy foundations were theoretical and unclear due to differing opinions and departmental rivalries whilst dealing with countries with widely varying economic circumstances.  ODI conclusions were that the Fund's very nature of promoting market-oriented economic approach attracted unavoidable criticism, as LDC governments were likely to object when in a tight corner. Yet, on the other hand, the Fund could provide a 'scapegoat service' where governments could take loans as a last resort, whilst blaming international bankers for any economic downfall. The ODI conceded that the fund was to some extent insensitive to political aspirations of LDCs, while its policy conditions were inflexible.  Argentina, which had been considered by the IMF to be a model country in its compliance to policy proposals by the Bretton Woods institutions, experienced a catastrophic economic crisis in 2001, which some believe to have been caused by IMFinduced budget restrictions—which undercut the government's ability to sustain national infrastructure even in crucial areas such as health, education, and security—and privatisation of strategically vital national resources. 23
  24. 24. Others attribute the crisis to Argentina's mis designed fiscal federalism, which caused sub national spending to increase rapidly. The crisis added to widespread hatred of this institution in Argentina and other South American countries, with many blaming the IMF for the region's economic problems. The current—as of early 2006—trend toward moderate left-wing governments in the region and a growing concern with the development of a regional economic policy largely independent of big business pressures has been ascribed to this crisis. In an interview, the former Romanian Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu claimed that "Since 2005, IMF is constantly making mistakes when it appreciates the country's economic performances." Support of military dictatorships The role of the Bretton Woods institutions has been controversial since the late Cold War period, due to claims that the IMF policy makers supported military dictatorships friendly to American and European corporations and other anti-communist regimes. Critics also claim that the IMF is generally apathetic or hostile to their views of human rights, and labour rights. The controversy has helped spark the Anti-globalization movement. Arguments in favour of the IMF say that economic stability is a precursor to democracy; however, critics highlight various examples in which democratised countries fell after receiving IMF loans Impact on access to food A number of civil society organisations have criticised the IMF's policies for their impact on people's access to food, particularly in developing countries. In October 2008, former US president Bill Clinton presented a speech to the United Nations World Food Day, which criticised the World Bank and IMF for their policies on food and agriculture: We need the World Bank, the IMF, all the big foundations, and all the governments to admit that, for 30 years, we all blew it, including me when I was president. We were wrong to believe that food was like some other product in international trade, and we all have to go back to a more responsible and sustainable form of agriculture. —Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Speech at United Nations World Food Day, October 16, 2008 24
  25. 25. Impact on public health In 2009 a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe by tuberculosis as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries to which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6%. In 2009, a book by Rick Rowden titled The Deadly Ideas of Neo liberalism: How the IMF has Undermined Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS, claimed that the IMF‘s monetarist approach towards prioritising price stability (low inflation) and fiscal restraint (low budget deficits) was unnecessarily restrictive and has prevented developing countries from being able to scale up long-term public investment as a percent of GDP in the underlying public health infrastructure. The book claimed the consequences have been chronically underfunded public health systems, leading to dilapidated health infrastructure, inadequate numbers of health personnel, and demoralising working conditions that have fuelled the ―push factors‖ driving the brain drain of nurses migrating from poor countries to rich ones, all of which has undermined public health systems and the fight against HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Impact on environment IMF policies have been repeatedly criticised for making it difficult for indebted countries to avoid ecosystem-damaging projects that generate cash flow, in particular oil, coal, and forestdestroying lumber and agriculture projects. Ecuador for example had to defy IMF advice repeatedly to pursue the protection of its rain forests, though paradoxically this need was cited in IMF argument to support that country. The IMF acknowledged this paradox in a March 2010 staff position report which proposed the IMF Green Fund, a mechanism to issue special drawing rights directly to pay for climate harm prevention and potentially other ecological protection as pursued generally by other environmental finance. While the response to these moves was generally positive possibly because ecological protection and energy and infrastructure transformation are more politically neutral than pressures to change social policy. Some experts voiced concern that the IMF was not representative, and that the IMF proposals to generate only US$200 billion a year by 2020 with the SDRs as seed funds, did not go far enough to undo the general incentive to pursue destructive projects inherent in the world commodity trading and banking systems—criticisms often levelled at the World Trade Organization and large global banking institutions. 25
  26. 26. In the context of the May 2010 European banking crisis, some observers also noted that Spain and California, two troubled economies within Europe and the United States respectively, and also Germany, the primary and politically most fragile supporter of a euro currency bailout would benefit from IMF recognition of their leadership in green technology, and directly from Green Fund–generated demand for their exports, which might also improve their credit standing with international bankers. Country Representation Giving more say to emerging markets produce a shift of 6 percent of quota shares to dynamic emerging market and developing countries.(BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Protecting the voice of low-income countries. Without these measures, this group of countries would have seen its voting shares decline. Timeline for implementing the reform. The Board of Governors, must ratify the new agreement by an 85 percent majority before it comes into effect. Conditionality and Structural Adjustment The impact of the Washington Consensus has been felt mainly through the IMF‘s increasing use of loan conditions (‗conditionality‘) to force policy change in developing countries. The use of loan conditions can be traced to section 1(v) of the Fund‘s Articles of Agreement, which encourages the IMF to make its funds ―temporarily available . . . under adequate safeguards‖. But while conditions had, in the 1950s and 1960s, been used to promote global financial stability (as per the IMF‘s Articles of Agreement) in the late 1970s and 1980s, loan conditions began to be used as "structural adjustment" tools, and conditionality – structural change in client countries – became a central focus for the IMF‘s work. Structural adjustment policies mean across-the-board privatization of public utilities and publicly owned industries. They mean the slashing of government budgets, leading to cutbacks in spending on health care and education. They mean focusing resources on growing export crops for industrial countries rather than supporting family farms and growing food for local communities. And, as their imposition in country after country in Latin America, Africa, and Asia has shown, they lead to deeper inequality and environmental destruction. For decades people in the Third World have protested the way the IMF and World Bank. 26
  27. 27. In 1996, a new debt relief initiative for the heavily-indebted poor countries—the HIPC Initiative—was launched by the IMF and the World Bank.1 The HIPC Initiative was intended to resolve the debt problems of the most heavily-indebted poor countries (originally 41 countries, mostly in Africa) with total debt nearing $200 billion. Worldwide events in the 1970s and 1980s—particularly the oil price shocks, high interest rates and recessions in industrial countries, and then weak commodity prices—were major contributors to the debt build-up in the HIPC countries. "Research shows clearly that the policies prescribed by the IMF have, among other things, not produced strong or sustainable growth; opened countries, communities and families to new vulnerabilities; exacerbated inequalities, which puts a brake on growth, stresses political systems to the breaking point, and engenders new and powerful forms of criminality and social tension. Bolivia has been a model student of such "reforms", and is now also a showcase for the contradictions and crisis these policies engender." The IMF "supports the rapid conclusion of obscure deals made by un-transparent multinationals and unaccountable politicians, deals in which it is impossible for people to evaluate or have a choice." observes researcher Tom Kruse in LaPaz. It appears some of the debt restructuring for IMF happens through Paris club and London Club. Paris Club is the name given to the arrangements through which countries reschedule their official DEBT; that is, money borrowed from other governments rather than BANKS or private FIRMS. The club is based on Avenue Kléber in Paris. Its members are the 19 founders of the OECD as well as Russia. Other institutions such as the WORLD BANK attend in an informal role. Rescheduling requires the consensus agreement of members and must not favour one CREDITOR nation over another. Private debt rescheduling takes place through the London Club. Power balances & decision-making From its beginning, the IMF was dominated by the rich industrialised countries - and particularly by the USA - which have tightly controlled the Fund‘s agenda, both through the IMF‘s formal decision-making structure, and through informal influence. Formal decision-making power in the Fund is held by two bodies: the Board of Governors, and the Executive Board. Everyday management of the Fund is the responsibility of the ―Managing Director‖ – selected by and chair of the Executive Board. There is an unwritten agreement that every IMF Managing Director should come from Europe, and every first Deputy Managing Director is American. This has held true for the entire life of the Fund. Stiglitz points out that the managing director of the IMF is chosen ―behind closed doors, and it has never even been viewed as a prerequisite that the head should have have any experience in the developing world.‖ (Stiglitz 2003, p. 19). 27
  28. 28. In contrast to democratic institutions, formal power on the IMF‘s boards is distributed according to the economic power of its members. Voting is determined by ―quotas‖, which are in turn determined by the size of a country‘s contribution ot the Fund. The USA – as the world‘s largest economy – holds a significant 17 per cent of the total voting power. The G8 – the group of eight powerful industrialised nations – controls a vote of 48% of the votes on the Fund‘s board, leaving only 52 per cent for the other 176 IMF members. In stark comparison to the influence of the rich countries, the largest African member of the Fund – South Africa – holds just 0.87 per cent of the total voting power. This political structure has allowed rich countries to effectively control the agenda of the IMF, and has denied a real voice to the poor countries which are the recipients of Fund policies. Public relations problems and contracts In 2000 the IMF's Managing Director, Michel Camdessus, stated that "We are not seen to be accountable, and some of our member governments from time to time find it convenient not to express their public support." At the time PR Week noted that "The McLean, VA-based Wirthlin Group conducted a global image survey for the IMF‘s external affairs department, while Edelman's DC outpost presented suggestions to the organization's executive board on ways to upgrade PR. The results of the survey and the recommendations, however, have not been revealed to the public." In September 2008, the IMF retained the major PR firm Hill & Knowlton for one year, to boost the international financial institution's "global outreach." H&K's press release quoted CEO Paul Taaffe as saying, "The IMF plays a crucial role around the world working to stabilize financial markets. H&K's regional expertise and global network means the firm is ideally suited to support the IMF." The contract, for an unspecified dollar amount, is coordinated out of H&K's Washington DC office. Dave Robinson, who heads the firm's Middle East & Africa work, "will lead an H&K team across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, while Glenn Schloss, regional director for H&K in the Asia Pacific region, will oversee activity on the IMF program in the Far East." H&K will advise the IMF on "stakeholder outreach strategy for Asia and the Middle East, and on financial sector issues." The firm will also design "customized contact programs with key opinion formers, influencers and the wider financial and economic community." 28
  29. 29. COLLABORATING WITH OTHERS       Working with the World Bank Cooperating on financial stability, banking supervision, and trade (WTO) Collaborating with the UN Working closely with the G-20 Working on employment issues (ILO) Engaging with think tanks, civil society, and the media (CSOs) 29
  30. 30. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the central institution embodying the international monetary system and promotes balanced expansion of world trade, reduced trade restrictions, stable exchange rates, minimal trade imbalances, avoidance of currency devaluations. How It Works/Example: The IMF formally came into existence in December 1945 with 29 member countries after it was conceived during negotiations of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944. It was originally tasked with establishing exchange rates after World War II through regulation of rates among the member countries. Between 1944 and 1971, most of the world operated under a fixed exchange-rate system, which required each country to maintain a reserve balance of other currencies in order to weather temporary supply and demand problems. Thus, the IMF required each member country to deposit currency into an interest reserve fund. The IMF then loaned these funds to nations with balance-of-payment problems. Today, the IMF promotes its objectives through surveillance and consultation with member countries rather than regulation. It still provides shortterm loans to member countries having balance-of-payment problems, and countries seeking assistance must meet or exceed certain thresholds related to inflation rates, budget deficits, money supplies, and political stability. 30
  31. 31. Mechanics of the IMF The IMF is run by a board of governors, which makes decisions on major policy issues but delegates day-to-day decision making to the executive board. All member countries are represented on the board of governors, which meets once per year. Each member country appoints a governor and an alternate governor to represent it to the IMF. The governors are usually the ministers of finance or governors of their central banks. The IMF's 24-member executive board is chaired by a managing director. The managing director is selected by the executive board every five years, and three deputy managing directors, each from a different region of the world, report to the managing director. The executive board meets three times a week, and the IMF's five largest shareholders (the United States, Japan, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) as well as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, each have a seat on the board. The other sixteen directors are elected for twoyear terms by groups of countries. There are several committees within the IMF. The International Monetary and Financial Committee, which is a committee of the board of governors, meets twice per year to evaluate policy issues relating to the international monetary system. The IMF Development Committee, which is composed of members of the boards of governors of both the IMF and the World Bank, advises and reports to the IMF governors on matters concerning developing countries. The IMF has a weighted voting system that gives more votes to countries with larger economies. However, according to the IMF, most decisions are not made based on formal voting, but by consensus. The IMF is funded by the subscriptions countries pay upon joining the IMF or when their subscriptions are increased. Members pay 25% of their subscriptions in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) or in major currencies. The IMF can call on the remaining 75% as needed for lending. The IMF determines a country's subscription amount based on its relative size in the world economy. The IMF may borrow money to supplement the funds received from subscriptions. Generally, the IMF may borrow money from several countries that participate in one of two standing lending agreements with the IMF. IMF Operations The IMF monitors economic and financial developments and policies in member countries and at the global level and then gives policy advice to its members based on its observations and experience. IMF advice generally focuses on macroeconomic, financial-sector regulation, and structural policies. To do this, the IMF engages in three types of surveillance: country surveillance, global surveillance, and regional surveillance. During country surveillance, which occurs annually, a team of economists visits a member country to collect data, examine policies, and meet with government and bank officials. The team submits its findings to the IMF executive board, which makes recommendations to the country. The IMF's global surveillance functions center around the publication of the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability reports, which are issued twice a year. Regional surveillance usually occurs within a series of internal IMF discussions about developments in certain regions or within groups of countries. 31
  32. 32. The IMF also provides technical help and training to the market participants and governments of member countries. This often comes in the form of advice on banking regulation, tax administration, and budget formulation as well as managing statistical data and drafting or reviewing legislation. They also provide training courses for government and central bank officials. One of the IMF's single biggest functions is lending money to members in need. If a country is unable to make payments to other countries without taking "measures destructive of national or international prosperity," such as implementing trade restrictions or devaluing its currency, it may borrow money from the IMF. When the IMF lends a country money, it often requires the borrower to follow a program aimed at meeting certain quantifiable economic goals, which are described in a letter of intent from the borrowing government to the IMF's managing director. IMF loans are not provided to fund particular projects or activities, they are provided to promote a country's overall economic health. The duration, payment terms, and lending conditions vary on a case-by-case basis. The IMF charges borrowers a market-related interest rate and also requires service charges and a refundable commitment fee. Low-income countries pay as little as 0.5% interest per year. The IMF also lends money to countries dealing with sudden losses of financial confidence, such as after natural disasters or wars, in order to prevent the spread of financial crises stemming from those countries. There are five main facilities from which the IMF makes loans: IMF Stand-By Arrangements (for short-term lending), the Extended-Fund Facility, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, the Supplemental Reserve Facility, and the Exogenous Shocks Facility. When a country borrows from the IMF, the proceeds are deposited in the country's central bank. There payment period varies for each loan, but maturities usually extend from six months to up to ten years. The international community places considerable pressure on a borrower to repay the IMF so that those funds are available to other countries, and the IMF in turn is diligent about timely repayment in order to maintain its status as a preferred creditor. 32
  33. 33. Why It Matters: The IMF, like the World Bank, is one of the most powerful and controversial legislative bodies in the world. The IMF's objectives focus on macroeconomic performance and policies, while the World Bank focuses on long-term economic development and poverty-reduction issues. The IMF works actively with the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and other international bodies that share an interest in international trade. Whether the IMF truly benefits the international economy is the subject of considerable debate. Much of the criticism centers on the IMF's requirements to adopt certain economic policies in order to receive IMF loans, which may encourage poor countries to neglect social concerns in order to comply. Supporters note that the IMF strengthens the economic and financial-integration effects of globalization and helps low-income countries benefit from globalization through the development of sustainable economic policies and debt reduction in the poorest countries. They also state that IMF approval often indicates a country's economic policies are favorable, which may reassure and motivate investors and other governments who might provide additional financing to the country in need. This not only attracts capital, it prevents investors from withdrawing funds from an economy, which could create further distress for that country and possibly for other countries. 33
  34. 34. CONCLUSION The IMF‘s primary purpose is to safeguard the stability of the international monetary system— the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to buy goods and services from each other. This is essential for achieving sustainable economic growth and raising living standards. providing advice to members on adopting policies that can help them prevent or resolve a financial crisis, achieve macroeconomic stability, accelerate economic growth, and alleviate poverty; making financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance of payments problems—that is, when they find themselves short of foreign exchange because their payments to other countries exceed their foreign exchange earnings; and offering technical assistance and training to countries at their request, to help them build the expertise and institutions they need to implement sound economic policies. The future of both Bretton Woods institutions remains uncertain. Both the IMF and World Bank escaped the efforts of the Republican U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s to sharply curtail and even eliminate both organizations. These agencies have been less successful in answering the charges from the left, as the IMF retains its demand for "structural adjustments" and the World Bank still favors funding for large, project-driven funding. While both the IMF and the World Bank have instituted some reforms, they have been unable to appease the concerns of outraged environmentalists, labor unionists, and nationalists and advocates of indigenous peoples in the developing world. Still, as this essay has suggested, these two organizations are really the misguided target for the legitimate concerns people of all ideological stripes have had about the rapid pace of globalization in the past half century. It is likely this globalization would have occurred whether or not there had been a Bretton Woods conference, and it is all but certain it will continue in the future regardless of the policies pursued by the IMF and World Bank. While it is true that they have often been too driven by U.S. foreign policy concerns, in the end the influence of both institutions has been widely overstated. And despite their mistakes during the past half century, they have rarely been given credit for many of the little things they do well. For example, both institutions perform economic surveillance over most of the world's economy, a valuable task that no other international or private organization could perform with such skill. Both agencies also serve as a store of expert knowledge and wisdom for countries throughout the world that lack trained specialists. While neither the IMF nor the World Bank has met the lofty goals of their founders or wielded the nefarious influence charged by their critics, they have and should continue to play a small but important role in promoting prosperity and economic stability worldwide. 34
  35. 35. Reference      ersonali/msassi/readinglist/students/IMF.pdf   35