The roots of the International Monetary Fund's difficulties: the pioneering contribution of Federico Caffè
The paper restates and evaluates Federico Caffè’s sharp and accurate analysis of the major shortcomings that have prevented the International Monetary Fund from carrying out its mandate effectively. It argues that Caffè explained the often disappointing performance of the Fund, throughout its existence, in terms of policies that progressively drifted away from the inspiring principles of its founders, particularly Keynes. In particular, the paper suggests that Caffè’s work is rich in insights and anticipations of subsequent developments due, above all, to his analysis of some severe weaknesses of the Fund’s governance system, which have kept the Fund from accomplishing its goal of fostering international financial cooperation.
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