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 ?
The IMF Chief said income was redistributed from heavy exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Russia to net importers such Pakistan, India, and many others.
Last October, the IMF chief warned of the risk of "new mediocre ": low growth for a long time.
According to a report in Reuters , the IMF chief was asked whether a Grexit would be catastrophic for the Eurozone, with Mrs.
We recommend to the fiscal and monetary Government to continue the close collaboration in order to properly apply the factors from the Strategy on debt management which influence the foreign sustainability, said Vladkova Hollar IMF Chief of Mission.
The IMF chief welcomed growing cooperation in Europe to tackle the sovereign debt crisis but said that further fiscal cooperation would be needed.
Summary: Socialist presidential hopeful Francois Hollande will be questioned by police in an inquiry into charges of attempted rape brought by a French writer against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, legal sources said Tuesday.
THE hotel maid who accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attacking her "cried rape" after he refused to pay her for sex, say reports in America.
IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as IMF head after he was arrested on charges of sexual assault in the United States.
Name the IMF chief facing sex assault charges after an alleged attack on a New York hotel maid.
Lawyers said earlier the IMF chief, who is also a leading contender as a rival to Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency, would plead not guilty to the charges.
The IMF chief was talking informally to journalists after a luncheon meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski is going to meet the IMF chief of mission for Macedonia, Wes McGrew, on Thursday.