International Monetary Fund
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is an international organization. It is responsible for managing the global financial system and for providing loans to its member states to help alleviate balance of payments problems. Part of its mission is to help countries that experience serious economic difficulties. In return, the countries who are helped are obliged to launch certain reforms, such as privatizations.
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3 Leaders of the IMF
5 See also
6 External link
History and Background
Agreement for its creation came at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, in 1944; the organisation came into existence in 1946, as part of a post-WWII reconstruction plan, and began financial operations on March 1, 1947. Accordingly, it is sometimes referred to as "a Bretton Woods institution", along with the Bank for International Settlements(BIS) and the World Bank. Together, these three institutions define the monetary policy shared by almost all countries with market economies. In order to gain access to IMF loans, BIS privilege, and strategic World Bank development loans, a country must normally agree to terms set forth by all three organizations.
The role of these institutions has been controversial among some since the late Cold War period. Critics claim that IMF policymakers deliberately supported right-wing military dictatorships that were friendly to American and European corporations. Critics also claim that the IMF is generally hostile to democracy, human rights, and labor rights. These criticisms generated a controversy that helped spark the anti-globalization movement.
Others say the IMF has little power to democratize sovereign states, nor is that its stated objective. However, they say its advice is intended to promote financial stability, which in turn may indirectly further democracy. Economic chaos is seldom a good starting point for a stable democracy.
Leaders of the IMF
The IMF is headed by a Managing Director: