IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On What Terms Is the IMF Worth Funding?


  • Edwin M. Truman

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


In the first decade of the 21st century the International Monetary Fund (IMF) faced crises of legitimacy, relevance, and budgetary finance. It now confronts what likely will be the worst global recession since World War II, potentially huge demands for its financial assistance with limited resources, and calls for it to play a more central role in the international financial and regulatory systems. At the same time, the incoming Barack Obama administration must decide what to do about the modest package of IMF reforms that was completed in the spring of 2008. The package requires US congressional approval to go into effect. This paper reviews the recent, slow progress on IMF reform and makes recommendations to the Obama administration against the background of that record, the emerging global recession, and continuing financial turmoil. I recommend that the IMF package be reopened to include a doubling of IMF quotas and an amendment that will permit the Fund to swap special drawing rights (SDR) with major central banks to finance its short-term lending facility. I also recommend a special allocation of 50 billion SDR. If these proposals are turned down by the G- 20 at its meeting in April 2009, I reluctantly recommend that the Obama administration seek congressional approval of the IMF package as it now stands because a failure to do so would seriously undermine the Fund as a central multilateral institution.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin M. Truman, 2008. "On What Terms Is the IMF Worth Funding?," Working Paper Series WP08-11, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp08-11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Is there a diversification discount in financial conglomerates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 331-367, August.
    2. David Miles & Jing Yang & Gilberto Marcheggiano, 2013. "Optimal Bank Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 1-37, March.
    3. Berger, Allen N. & Herring, Richard J. & Szego, Giorgio P., 1995. "The role of capital in financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 393-430, June.
    4. William R. Cline & John Williamson, 2010. "Estimates of Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates, May 2010," Policy Briefs PB10-15, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    5. Edwin M. Truman, 2009. "The International Monetary Fund and Regulatory Challenges," Working Paper Series WP09-16, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    7. Morris Goldstein, 2006. "Renminbi Controversies," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 26(2), pages 251-266, Spring/Su.
    8. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
    9. William R. Cline, 2010. "Renminbi Undervaluation, China's Surplus, and the US Trade Deficit," Policy Briefs PB10-20, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Cardarelli, Roberto & Elekdag, Selim & Lall, Subir, 2011. "Financial stress and economic contractions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 78-97, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Keynote Speech by Maurice Obstfeld, 2011. "International Liquidity: The Fiscal Dimension," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 29, pages 33-48, November.
    2. Garry J. Schinasi & Edwin M. Truman, 2010. "Reform of the Global Financial Architecture," Working Paper Series WP10-14, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    3. Masahiro Kawai & Peter A. Petri & Elif Sisli Ciamarra, 2010. "Asia in Global Governance: A Case for Decentralized Institutions," Chapters,in: Asian Regionalism in the World Economy, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld, 2013. "The International Monetary System: Living with Asymmetry," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 301-336 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry, 2012. "Implications of the Euro's crisis for international monetary reform," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 541-548.

    More about this item


    International Monetary Fund; current account adjustment; exchange rates; financial turbulence; global recession; financial supervision and regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp08-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peterson Institute webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.