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Reforming the International Monetary Fund – Some Reflections


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  • Herbert Gratz

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

  • Harald Grech

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

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    This paper reviews the most recent issues in the ongoing debate on the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Fund has recognized that IMF surveillance should put greater weight on analyzing and discussing global economic issues. By taking account of international spillovers, surveillance should in future be multilateral rather than purely country-specific. Exchange rates and policies should also be the focus of renewed interest. Moreover, there is no doubt that IMF quotas will have to be adjusted to take account of the changing economic weight of many IMF member countries in the world economy. Negotiations on a new quota formula started after the Annual Meeting in Singapore in September 2006. The influence of low income countries should be strengthened by increasing the number of basic votes in order to prevent the Fund from loosing legitimacy. However, with the IMF’s intention to put more weight on GDP in the new quota formula, the stage is set for complex, difficult and time-consuming negotiations. Finally, the IMF will need to reform its financing system and budgeting procedures to ensure that expenditures will be adequately curtailed to enable it to work efficiently despite income shortfalls, which might well be not transitory but of a permanent nature.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Monetary Policy & the Economy.

    Volume (Year): (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 98–118

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    Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2006:i:4:b:6

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    Related research

    Keywords: IMF; Representation; Constituencies; Governance; Surveillance;

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    1. Edwin M. Truman, 2006. "Reforming the IMF for the 21st Century," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr19, July.
    2. Edwin M. Truman, 2006. "Strategy for IMF Reform, A," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa77, November.
    3. Leech, Dennis & Leech, Robert, 2005. "Voting Power Implications of a Unified European Representation at the IMF," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 720, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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