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A quarterly magazine of the IMF
|IMF at 60
IMF at 60
James M. Boughton
Throughout its 60-year history, the IMF has adapted to
changing world economic and political conditions. The IMF's official historian
discusses how the institution has developed and outlines four key issues
demanding attention in the years ahead.
(215 kb, pdf file)
The IMF Story—a time line
This illustrated time line highlights important dates in
the IMF's history, starting with the years that led to its creation and
continuing through the 60 years of its existence.
(94 kb, pdf file)
Forces Shaping the IMF
Picture This focuses on the issues that are likely
to shape the work of the IMF over the next 25–50 years. Charts illustrate,
among other things, the effects on the IMF of increasing world trade,
aging populations, and the changing demand for the IMF's financial resources.
(44 kb, pdf file)
Rethinking IMF Governance
Leo Van Houtven
Increasing interference by the G-7 countries and what many
regard as inadequate representation of developing countries have led to
calls for a reform of the IMF's decision making. The author, a former
secretary of the IMF, discusses overhauling the IMF's Executive Board,
including by making voting power more equitable.
(79 kb, pdf file)
Why Developing Countries Need a Stronger Voice
A former IMF Executive Director who represented about half
of sub-Saharan Africa argues that these countries, now the IMF's largest
client base, should have more influence over decision making in the institution.
He also calls for a radical rethink of the IMF's lending facility for
the poorest countries.
(63 kb, pdf file)
Putting a Stop to Self-fulfilling Crises
In the 1990s, capital markets lost confidence in
countries' ability to repay their debts, leading
crises-that is, the perception that a country is high risk raises interest
rate spreads and, consequently, the debt-service burden, leading to a
crisis. The author suggests that the IMF play the role of lender of first resort,
which would help countries avoid the trap of a self-fulfilling debt crisis.
(127 kb, pdf file)
How Should the IMF
Three former IMF Managing Directors offer their views on
the hot issues facing the IMF: how to strengthen surveillance, better
prevent and resolve financial crises, and improve the equity and effectiveness
of the way the IMF is governed.
(45 kb, pdf file)
Avoiding Banking Crises
in Latin America
Agustín G. Carstens, Daniel C. Hardy, and Ceyla
Poor banking practices and a weak institutional framework
have played a major role in making Latin American countries vulnerable
to financial crises following shocks. One reason is that supervisors have
often lacked independence and supporting institutional arrangements The
authors suggest priority measures for the region.
(95 kb, pdf file)
From Vision to Action
James M. Boughton and Zia Qureshi
While the world is agreed on the Millennium Development
Goals, they are unlikely to be realized unless developed and developing
countries work actively together to achieve the joint vision.
(50 kb, pdf file)
Grants versus Loans
Benedict Clements, Sanjeev Gupta, Alexander Pivovarsky,
Erwin R. Tiongson
Recent initiatives have called for more foreign aid in
the form of grants in lieu of loans, which may have led many developing
countries to accumulate massive debts. This article addresses the question
of whether the proposed shift will have fiscal considerations for recipient
countries. Based on empirical tests, the authors conclude that grant aid
should be accompanied by a strengthening of institutions.
(92 kb, pdf file)
Letter from the Editor
(29 kb, pdf file)
Letters to the Editor
Europe's single currency; mobilizing against disease; local
initiatives needed for achievement of MDGs; globalization and ethics.
(30 kb, pdf file)
News from international agencies
IEO reports on what went wrong in Argentina and how the
IMF's poverty initiatives have fared.
(31 kb, pdf file)
People in Economics
Freedom as Progress
Laura Wallace profiles Nobel Prize-winner Amartya
Sen, the first Indian national to win the prize for economics. He is known
for his contributions to social choice theory, welfare economics, and
economic measurement. This article explores his thoughts on critical economic
issues, such as globalization, domestic reforms, and the role of democracy-with
a special focus on India.
(76 kb, pdf file)
Reform What Pace Works Best?
John McMillan of Stanford University reviews
experience with reform and concludes that the approach to economic
be gradual. Oleh Havrylyshyn, former
IMF Deputy Director in the IMF's European II Department, counters
that evidence from the postcommunist
transformation suggests that the big bang approach
to reform has generally been better than a more gradual approach.
(120 kb, pdf file)
Back to Basics
Liberalizing Capital Account Restrictions
M. Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad
Cross-border capital flows, which have surged over the
past two decades, have been associated with some benefits but have also
played a role in some financial crises. The authors note that many developing
economies have followed advanced economies in taking steps to liberalize
their capital accounts--a development that has accounted for much of the
increase in capital flows. The authors conclude that capital account liberalization
is not an unqualified blessing and poses risks if implemented in unfavorable
circumstances, particularly without supporting policies.
(43 kb, pdf file)
Why globalization Works, Martin Wolf
Open World: The Truth About Globalization, Philippe Legrain
How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely theory of Globalization, Franklin
The IMF and Economic Development, James Raymond Vreeland
(59 kb, pdf file)
A turnaround in federal fiscal policy and higher oil revenues
are projected to produce a fiscal surplus in 2004, although state and
local government spending continue to grow strongly.
(28 kb, pdf file)
Assume Anarchy? Why an orthodox economic
model may not be the best guide for policy
Raghuram Rajan suggests that a better starting point
for analysis than a world with only minor blemishes
may be a world where nothing is enforceable and property
and individual rights are totally
(33 kb, pdf file)