International Monetary Fund

Washington, DC, March 7 and 8, 2011

Macro and Growth Policies in the Wake of the Crisis

SESSION VI: The International Monetary System

With the ongoing talk of "currency wars", reform of the international monetary system is now at the top of the G20 agenda. A key issue is whether the current arrangements for global liquidity provision can be improved upon. Precautionary saving in the form of reserve accumulation is socially inefficient. Bilateral swap lines only benefit some countries, not others. So, new arrangements are being proposed, including allocations of special drawing rights (SDRs) and the creation of a contingent liquidity window at the IMF to provide liquidity to a large number of countries under conditions of high systemic risk. Another key issue is whether countries should be free to run large current account imbalances, or whether there should be multilateral “rules of the game”.

Background notes on the international monetary system


John Williamson

“Currency Wars?”

Reference Rates and the International Monetary System

John Williamson was born in 1937 and educated at the London School of Economics and Princeton University.



Már Guðmundsson

The financial crisis in Iceland and the fault lines in cross-border banking

Financial globalisation: key trends and implications for the transmission mechanism of monetary policy

Financial globalisation and challenges for prudential policies and macroeconomic management

Már Guðmundsson was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Iceland in 2009. Before taking that position, he was Deputy Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements and a member of the Bank’s senior management.

Olivier Jeanne

Olivier Jeanne joined the Johns Hopkins Department of Economics in September 2008, after ten years in various positions at the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.

Charles Collyns

Charles Collyns was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for International Finance. In this position, Collyns is responsible for leading Treasury's work on international monetary policy, international financial institutions, coordination with the G-7/G-8 and G-20, and regional and bilateral economic issues.

Maurice Obstfeld

Too much focus on the yuan?

Reserve accumulation and financial stability

Lenders of Last Resort in a Globalized World

Maurice Obstfeld is the Class of 1958 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for International and Development Economic Research (CIDER).