International Monetary Fund

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International Monetary Fund

(IMF), specialized agency of the United Nations, established in 1945. It was planned at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944), and its headquarters are in Washington, D.C. There is close collaboration between it and the International Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
(IBRD), independent specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Washington, D.C.; one of five closely associated development institutions (also including the International Center for Settlement of
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. Its primary mission is to ensure stability in the international monetary system. The IMF provides policy advice and financing to member countries with economic problems. The organization, using a fund subscribed by the member nations, purchases foreign currencies on application from its members so as to discharge international indebtedness and stabilize exchange rates. The IMF currency reserve units are called Special Drawing RightsSpecial Drawing Rights
(SDRs), type of international monetary reserve currency established (1968) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Created in response to worries concerning the limitations of gold and dollars as the sole means of settling international accounts, SDRs
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 (SDRs); from 1974 to 1980 the value of SDRs was based on the currencies of 16 leading trading nations. Since 1980 it has been reevaluated every five years and based on the relative international economic importance of the British pound sterling, Chinese yuan (added in 2016), the European Union euro (formerly the French franc and German mark), the Japanese yen, and the U.S. dollar. To facilitate international trade and reduce inequities in exchange, the fund has limited power to set the par value of currencies. Members are provided with technical assistance in making monetary transactions.

In 1995 the fund moved to increase disclosure requirements of countries borrowing money and at the same time created an emergency bailout fund for countries in financial crisis. IMF was criticized in 1998 for exacerbating the Asian financial crisis, through the fund's decision to require Asian nations to raise their interest rates to record levels. During the international financial crisis of the early 21st cent., the IMF provided loans and access to credit of more than $100 billion to developing countries that were affected by falling demand for their exports and other financial problems. IMF support and financing was also critical to financial rescue plans for several European Union members in the early 2010s. Changes effective in 2016 raised the status of the four major emerging market nations, Brazil, China, India, and Russia, including them among the IMF's top ten shareholders. The fund is ruled by a board of governors, with one representative from each nation. The board of governors elects an executive board of 24 representatives to direct regular operations; the executive board selects and is chaired by the managing director, who also heads the IMF's staff. There are 189 members in the IMF.


See studies by H. G. Grubel (1970), T. Agmon et al., ed. (1984); R. D. Hormats (1987), T. Ferguson (1988), E. P. McLellan, ed. (2002), D. Vines and C. L. Gilbert, ed. (2004), E. M. Truman, ed. (2006), G. Bird (2003), G. Bird and D. Rowlands, ed. (2 vol., 2007), and E. Conway (2015).

References in periodicals archive ?
Despite this, the IMF, believing that free capital markets make economies more efficient, pushed liberalization onto developing countries.
Across the globe, the IMF has bailed out dozens of countries that have adopted questionable economic programs.
Whether the IMF has been doing a good enough job is another issue.
Each time one of the 17-time champion Boston Celtics sinks a 3-point basket during the regular NBA season, Takeda Oncology will make a donation to the IMF.
In the process, many countries' balance-of-payments positions came under acute pressure, which required massive IMF financial assistance.
5bn to the IMF and it is due to repay the same sum across four payments in September.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday.
The authorities and the IMF team are finalizing the details of the program to support Ghana's economic program that would be agreed at staff level before being proposed for the IMF Executive Board's consideration.
El-Fekky added that reducing the delegation may be seen as a sign that Egypt "is taking a stance" against the IMF.
Directors agreed that membership in the Association would be the most effective mechanism for continued close cooperation between the IMF and the FSB.
The IMF, however, said the IMF account at Iran's central bank is there to hold the Iranian funds committed to the IMF as an obligation of its membership as a crisis lender.
The advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an organization formed by retired US diplomats and government officials, said the IMF needed to shut down its account with Bank Markazi, because the bank is a specific target of the sanctions, or suspend Iran's membership in the fund.