International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The organization's stated objectives are to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment, and exchange rate stability, including by making resources available to member countries to meet balance of payments
Balance of payments
Balance of payments accounts are an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.These transactions include payments for the country's exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers...

 needs. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....


The IMF was conceived on July 22, 1944 originally with 45 members and came into existence on December 27, 1945 when 29 countries signed the agreement, with a goal to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances. The IMF was vital when it was first created because it helped the world stabilize the economic system. The IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries. The IMF describes itself as “an organization of 187 countries (as of July 2010), working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.”


The members of the IMF are the 187 members of the UN and Kosovo
Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo , officially the Republic of Kosovo is a partially recognised state and a disputed territory in the Balkans...


Former members are Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 (which left in 1964) and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 which was ejected from the UN after losing support of then U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and replaced by the People's Republic of China in 1980.

The other non-members are North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

, Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, Nauru
Nauru , officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest republic, covering just...

, Cook Islands
Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

, Niue
Niue , is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia", and inhabitants of the island call it "the Rock" for short. Niue is northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to...

, Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

, and the rest of the states with limited recognition.

Some members have a very difficult relationship with the IMF and even when they are still members they do not allow to be monitored. Argentina for example refuses to participate in an Article IV Consultation with the IMF.

All member states participate directly in the IMF. Member states are represented on a 24-member executive board (five executive directors are appointed by the five members with the largest quotas, nineteen executive directors are elected by the remaining members), and all members appoint a governor to the IMF's board of governors.The powers of the other countries within the organization are represented on a proportional scale to their population and economic rank in the world. The Executive board are the general owners of the IMF and can control major decisions within the organization, but all other member countries are represented on the population, economic scale. For further in depth information and a guide to the proportions and numbers associated with deciding the voting rights of the other countries please reference "Power distribution analysis in the international monetary fund." ‘’Automation & Remote Control’’.

All members of the IMF are also International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is one of five institutions that compose the World Bank Group. The IBRD is an international organization whose original mission was to finance the reconstruction of nations devastated by World War II. Now, its mission has expanded to fight...

 (IBRD) members and vice versa.


The International Monetary Fund was conceived on July 22, 1944 during the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference
United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference
The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, commonly known as the Bretton Woods conference, was a gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after...

. The representatives of 45 governments met in the Mount Washington Hotel
Mount Washington Hotel
The Mount Washington Hotel opened in 1902 near Mount Washington, in the town of Carroll, New Hampshire. The area is better known as Bretton Woods, and includes the Bretton Woods ski resort nearby. It is located at the northern end of Crawford Notch, east of the village of Twin Mountain, New...

 in the area of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods is an area within the town of Carroll, New Hampshire, USA, whose principal points of interest are three leisure and recreation facilities...

, United States, with the delegates to the conference agreeing on a framework for international economic cooperation. The IMF was formally organized on December 27, 1945, when the first 29 countries signed its Articles of Agreement. The statutory purposes of the IMF today are the same as when they were formulated in 1943 (see #Assistance and reforms).

The IMF’s influence in the global economy steadily increased as it accumulated more members. The number of IMF member countries has more than quadrupled from the 44 states involved in its establishment, reflecting in particular the attainment of political independence by many developing countries and more recently the dissolution in 1991 of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The expansion of the IMF’s membership, together with the changes in the world economy, have required the IMF to adapt in a variety of ways to continue serving its purposes effectively.

In 2008, faced with a shortfall in revenue, the International Monetary Fund’s executive board agreed to sell part of the IMF’s gold reserves. On April 27, 2008, former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn , often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party...

 welcomed the board’s decision of April 7, 2008, to propose a new framework for the fund, designed to close a projected $400 million budget deficit over the next few years. The budget proposal includes sharp spending cuts of $100 million until 2011 that will include up to 380 staff dismissals.

At the 2009 G-20 London summit
2009 G-20 London summit
The 2009 G-20 London Summit is the second meeting of the G-20 heads of state in discussion of financial markets and the world economy, which was held in London on 2 April 2009 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. It followed the first G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, which...

, it was decided that the IMF would require additional financial resources to meet prospective needs of its member countries during the ongoing global financial crisis
Late 2000s recession
The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession or Lesser Depression or Long Recession, is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world...

. As part of that decision, the G-20 leaders pledged to increase the IMF’s supplemental cash tenfold to $500 billion, and to allocate to member countries another $250 billion via Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...


On October 23, 2010, the ministers of finance of G-20, governing most of the IMF member quotas, agreed to reform IMF and shift about 6 percent of the voting shares to major developing nations and countries with emerging markets.

As of August 2010, Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 ($13.9 billion), Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 ($12.66 billion), Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 ($11.7 billion), and Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 ($30 billion) are the largest borrowers of the fund.

Data Dissemination Systems

In 1995 the International Monetary Fund began work on data dissemination standards with the view of guiding IMF member countries to disseminate their economic and financial data to the public. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) endorsed the guidelines for the dissemination standards and they were split into two tiers: The General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard
Special Data Dissemination Standard
Special Data Dissemination Standard is an International Monetary Fund standard to guide member countries in the dissemination of national statistics to the public.It was established in April 1996.- Members :There are currently 64 members....


The International Monetary Fund executive board approved the SDDS and GDDS in 1996 and 1997 respectively, and subsequent amendments were published in a revised “Guide to the General Data Dissemination System.” The system is aimed primarily at statisticians and aims to improve many aspects of statistical systems in a country. It is also part of the World Bank Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction Strategic Papers.

The IMF established a system and standard to guide members in the dissemination to the public of their economic and financial data. Currently there are two such systems: GDDS and its superset SDDS, for those member countries having or seeking access to international capital market
Capital market
A capital market is a market for securities , where business enterprises and governments can raise long-term funds. It is defined as a market in which money is provided for periods longer than a year, as the raising of short-term funds takes place on other markets...


The primary objective of the GDDS is to encourage IMF member countries to build a framework to improve data quality and increase statistical capacity building. This will involve the preparation of meta data describing current statistical collection practices and setting improvement plans. Upon building a framework, a country can evaluate statistical needs, set priorities in improving the timeliness, transparency, reliability and accessibility of financial and economic data.

Some countries initially used the GDDS, but later upgraded to SDDS.

Some entities that are not themselves IMF members also contribute statistical data to the systems: – GDDS – SDDS - GDDS institutions:
    • the European Central Bank
      European Central Bank
      The European Central Bank is the institution of the European Union that administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU Eurozone member states. It is thus one of the world's most important central banks. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998, and is headquartered in Frankfurt,...

       for the Eurozone
      The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

       – SDDS
    • Eurostat
      Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

       for the whole EU – SDDS, thus providing data from  Cyprus (not using any DDSystem on its own) and  Malta (using only GDDS on its own)

Membership qualifications

The application will be considered first by the IMF’s executive board. After its consideration, the board will submit a report to the board of governors of the IMF with recommendations in the form of a “membership resolution.” These recommendations cover the amount of quota
Quota share
A quota share is a specified number or percentage of the allotment as a whole , that is prescribed to each individual entity ....

 in the IMF, the form of payment of the subscription, and other customary terms and conditions of membership. After the board of governors has adopted the membership Resolution, the applicant state needs to take the legal steps required under its own law to enable it to sign the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and to fulfill the obligations of IMF membership.

Similarly, any member country can withdraw from the Fund, although that is rare. For example, in April 2007, the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa
Rafael Correa
Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007...

, announced the expulsion of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 representative in the country. A few days later, at the end of April, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 announced that the country would withdraw from the IMF and the World Bank. Chavez dubbed both organizations as “the tools of the empire” that “serve the interests of the North.” As of June 2009, both countries remain as members of both organizations. The government of Venezuela was forced to back down because a withdrawal would have triggered default clauses in the country’s sovereign bonds.

A member’s quota in the IMF determines the amount of its subscription, its voting weight, its access to IMF financing, and its allocation of Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...

 (SDRs). A member state cannot unilaterally increase its quota—increases must be approved by the Executive Board of IMF and are linked to formulas that include many variables such as the size of a country in the world economy. For example, in 2001, the People’s Republic of China was prevented from increasing its quota as high as it wished, ensuring it remained at the level of the smallest G7 economy (Canada).

In September 2005 the IMF’s member countries agreed to the first round of ad-hoc quota increases for four countries, including China. On March 28, 2008, the IMF’s executive board ended a period of extensive discussion and negotiation over a major package of reforms to enhance the institution's governance that would shift quota and voting shares from advanced to emerging markets and developing countries. Under existing arrangements, the industrialized countries (including Mexico) hold 57 per cent of the IMF votes. But the financial crisis has tilted control away from heavily indebted mature economies, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, in favour of the fast-growing, cash-rich, so-called BRIC
In economics, BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development...

 economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

In May of 2011 the IMF's Leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested which opened the IMF's and world bank spot for a new leader. This being said they were really looking for some change to open things up to other countries to lead, and to get a voting system changed around. The voting system gives bigger countries more votes, but also helps Small Developing countries have a bigger say due to their economic growth.

Since the United States has by far the largest share of votes (approx. 17 percent) amongst IMF members (see table below), it has little to lose relative to European nations. At the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit
2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit
The 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh Summit was the third meeting of the G-20 heads of state in discussion of financial markets and the world economy.The G-20 is the premier forum for discussing, planning and monitoring international economiccooperation....

, the U.S. raised the possibility that some European countries would reduce their votes in favour of increasing the votes for emerging economies. However, both France and Britain were particularly reluctant as an increase in China’s votes would mean China now has more votes than the UK and France. At a subsequent IMF meeting in Istanbul, the same month as the Pittsburgh Summit, former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn , often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party...

 then highlighted that “If we don’t correct them, we’ll have the recipe for the next major crisis.” Citing the seriousness of the issue to be tackled.

Members' quotas and voting power, and board of governors

Major decisions require an 85 percent supermajority
A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority . In some jurisdictions, for example, parliamentary procedure requires that any action that may alter the rights of the minority has a supermajority...

. The United States has always been the only country able to block a supermajority on its own. The following table shows the top 20 member states in terms of voting power (2,220,817 votes in total). The 27 member states of the European Union have a combined vote of 710,786 (32.07 percent).

On October 23, 2010, the ministers of finance of G-20, governing most of the IMF member quotas, agreed to reform IMF and shift about 6 percent of the voting shares to major developing nations and countries with emerging markets.
Members' quotas and voting power, and board of governors (Note: Voting shares before the changes made on July, 2011)
IMF member countryQuota: millions of SDRs
Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...

Quota: percentage of total Governor Alternative Governor Votes: numberVotes: percentage of total
 United States 42,122.4 17.72 Timothy Geithner Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke
Ben Shalom Bernanke is an American economist, and the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. During his tenure as Chairman, Bernanke has overseen the response of the Federal Reserve to late-2000s financial crisis....

421,964 16.77
 Japan 15,628.5 6.57 Yoshihiko Noda
Yoshihiko Noda
is the current Prime Minister of Japan, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan , and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet...

Masaaki Shirakawa
Masaaki Shirakawa
is a Japanese economist, central banker and the 30th Governor of the Bank of Japan . He is also a Director and Vice-Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements .-Early life:...

157,025 6.24
 Germany 14,565.5 6.13 Jens Weidmann
Jens Weidmann
Jens Weidmann is a German economist and president of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Before assuming the top Bundesbank position in 2011, from February 2006, he served as Head of Division IV in the Federal Chancellery...

Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

146,395 5.82
 United Kingdom 10,738.5 4.52 George Osborne
George Osborne
George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, a role to which he was appointed in May 2010, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in...

Sir Mervyn King
Mervyn King (economist)
An ex-officio member of the Bank's interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee since its inception in 1997, Sir Mervyn is the only person to have taken part in every one of its monthly meetings to date. His voting style is often seen as "hawkish", a perspective that emphasises the dangers of...

108,125 4.30
 Early Modern France 10,738.5 4.52 François Baroin
François Baroin
François Baroin is a French politician, recently appointed Finance Minister, following a stint as Minister of the Budget in the François Fillon III government...

Christian Noyer
Christian Noyer
Christian Noyer is a French higher civil servant, current governor of the Bank of France , and former vice-president of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank . In March 2010 Noyer became Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements.-References: *...

108,125 4.30
 Mainland China 9,525.9 4.01 Zhou Xiaochuan
Zhou Xiaochuan
Zhou Xiaochuan is a Chinese economist, banker, reformist and bureaucrat. As governor of the People's Bank of China since December 2002, he has been in charge of the monetary policy of the People's Republic of China....

Yi Gang
Yi Gang
Yi Gang is the Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China.-Biography:...

95,999 3.82
 Italy 7,882.3 3.32 Giulio Tremonti
Giulio Tremonti
Giulio Tremonti is an Italian politician. He served in the government of Italy as Minister of Economy and Finance under Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from 1994 to 1995, from 2001 to 2004, from 2005 to 2006, and from 2008 to 2011....

Ignazio Visco
Ignazio Visco
Ignazio Visco is an Italian economist and the current Governor of the Banca d'Italia- Life and career :Visco was born in Naples on 21 November 1949...

79,563 3.16
 Saudi Arabia 6,985.5 2.94 Ibrahim A. Al-Assaf Hamad Al-Sayari 70,595 2.81
 India 5,821.5 2.75 Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Kumar Mukherjee is the current Finance Minister of India and leader of the current Lok Sabha.Mukherjee is a senior member of the Cabinet Committees on Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Affairs, Prices, Security, Unique Identification Authority of India,...

Duvvuri Subbarao
Duvvuri Subbarao
Duvvuri Subbarao is an Indian economist, central banker, and civil servant. He is the 22nd and current Governor of Reserve Bank of India, serving under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh....

58,955 2.34
 Canada 6,369.2 2.68 Jim Flaherty
Jim Flaherty
James Michael "Jim" Flaherty, PC, MP is Canada's Minister of Finance and he has also served as Ontario's Minister of Finance. From 1995 until 2005, he was the Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby—Ajax, and a member of the Progressive Conservative Party caucus...

Mark Carney
Mark Carney
Mark J. Carney is the eighth and current governor of the Bank of Canada and the Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, an institution of the G20 based in Basel, Switzerland. These appointments were on October 4, 2007 , and on November 4, 2011...

64,432 2.56
 Russia 5,945.4 2.50 Aleksei Kudrin Sergey Ignatyev 60,194 2.39
 Kingdom of the Netherlands 5,162.4 2.17 Klaas Knot L.B.J. van Geest 52,364 2.08
 Belgium 4,605.2 1.94 Guy Quaden
Guy Quaden
Guy, Baron Quaden is a Belgian economist and since 1 March 1999 Governor of the National Bank of Belgium. He is a member of the Council of governing board and of the general Council of the European Central Bank...

Jean-Pierre Arnoldi 46,792 1.86
 Brazil 4,250.5 1.79 Guido Mantega
Guido Mantega
Guido Mantega is a Brazilian economist, politician and currently Brazil's Finance Minister. He graduated in Economics from the Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade of the University of São Paulo and is a professor of Economics at several leading universities of São Paulo.He has...

Alexandre Tombini
Alexandre Tombini
Alexandre Antônio Tombini is a Brazilian economist. He is the current president of Central Bank of Brazil.- External links :*...

43,245 1.72
 Spain 4,023.4 1.69 Elena Salgado
Elena Salgado
Elena Salgado Méndez is a Spanish politician currently serving as the First Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance of Spain, in the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero...

Miguel Fernández Ordóñez
Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez
Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez is a Spanish economist and politician, member of the Socialist Workers' Party and current Governor of the Bank of Spain. He is the younger brother of Francisco Fernández Ordóñez, also a Socialist politician, and he is married to Inés Alberdi.He was born in Madrid in...

40,974 1.63
 Mexico 3,625.7 1.52 Agustín Carstens
Agustín Carstens
Agustín Guillermo Carstens Carstens is a Mexican economist who has served as Governor of the Bank of Mexico since and was recently seeking to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund...

Guillermo Ortiz 36,997 1.47
 Switzerland 3,458.5 1.45 Philipp Hildebrand
Philipp Hildebrand
Philipp Hildebrand is a Swiss banker. Since 2003 he has been a member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank. With effect from 1 January 2010, the Federal Council appointed him to the positions of Chairman of the Governing Board and Head of Department I in Zurich.-Background:While at...

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is a Swiss lawyer, politician, and member of the Swiss Federal Council since 2008. She is currently the head of the Federal Department of Finance ....

35,325 1.40
 South Korea 3,366.4 1.42 Okyu Kwon Seong Tae Lee 34,404 1.37
 Australia 3,236.4 1.36 Wayne Swan
Wayne Swan
Wayne Maxwell Swan is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and an Australian politician. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1993 to 1996, and then re elected in 1998 till today , representing the Division of Lilley, QLD...

Martin Parkinson
Martin Parkinson
Dr Martin Lee Parkinson PSM is the current Secretary of the Department of the Treasury of Australia effective March 2011. He had previously worked as the inaugural Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Deputy Treasury Secretary, an International Monetary Fund official, and an advisor to...

33,104 1.32
 Venezuela 2,659.1 1.12 Gastón Parra Luzardo
Gastón Parra Luzardo
Gastón Parra Luzardo was a Venezuelan academic, who up until his death was president of the Central Bank of Venezuela. He was appointed to the position in 2005. In 2002 he was briefly chairman of the state-owned oil giant Petróleos de Venezuela S.A....

Rodrigo Cabeza Morales 27,331 1.09
remaining 166 countries 62,593.8 28.79 respective respective 667,438 30.05

Assistance and reforms

The primary mission of the IMF is to provide financial assistance to countries that experience serious financial and economic difficulties using funds deposited with the IMF from the institution’s 187 member countries. Member states with balance of payments
Balance of payments
Balance of payments accounts are an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.These transactions include payments for the country's exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers...

 problems, which often arise from these difficulties, may request loans to help fill gaps between what countries earn and/or are able to borrow from other official lenders and what countries must spend to operate, including to cover the cost of importing basic goods and services. In return, countries are usually required to launch structural adjustment programs (SAPs), which have often been dubbed the Washington Consensus
Washington Consensus
The term Washington Consensus was coined in 1989 by the economist John Williamson to describe a set of ten relatively specific economic policy prescriptions that he considered constituted the "standard" reform package promoted for crisis-wracked developing countries...


These reforms are thought to be beneficial to countries with fixed exchange rate
Fixed exchange rate
A fixed exchange rate, sometimes called a pegged exchange rate, is a type of exchange rate regime wherein a currency's value is matched to the value of another single currency or to a basket of other currencies, or to another measure of value, such as gold.A fixed exchange rate is usually used to...

 policies that may engage in fiscal, monetary, and political practices that may lead to the crisis itself. For example, nations with severe budget deficits, rampant inflation, strict price controls, or significantly overvalued or undervalued currencies run the risk of facing balance-of-payment crises. Thus, the structural adjustment programs are at least ostensibly intended to ensure that the IMF is actually helping to prevent financial crises rather than merely funding financial recklessness.

Following the recent economic crisis, the IMF has attempted to help emerging economies deal with large capital outflows.


Two criticisms from economists have been that financial aid is always bound to so-called Conditionalities, including SAPs. It is claimed that conditionalities (economic performance targets established as a precondition for IMF loans) retard social stability and hence inhibit the stated goals of the IMF, while Structural Adjustment Programs lead to an increase in poverty in recipient countries.

The IMF sometimes advocates “austerity programmes
In economics, austerity is a policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided. Austerity policies are often used by governments to reduce their deficit spending while sometimes coupled with increases in taxes to pay back creditors to...

,” cutting public spending and increasing taxes even when the economy is weak, in order to bring budgets closer to a balance, thus reducing budget deficits. Countries are often advised to lower their corporate tax rate. In Globalization and Its Discontents
Globalization and Its Discontents
Globalization and Its Discontents is a book published in 2002 by the 2001 Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz.According to James M. Rossi, Globalization and Its Discontents is a concise, devastating, and relentless indictment of the global economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, World...

, Joseph E. Stiglitz
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS, FBA, is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal . He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank...

, former chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, criticizes these policies. He argues that by converting to a more monetarist approach, the purpose of the fund is no longer valid, as it was designed to provide funds for countries to carry out Keynesian reflations, and that the IMF “was not participating in a conspiracy, but it was reflecting the interests and ideology of the Western financial community.” If they do not look for a restructure they are looking at their resources to run out. A restructure of maybe how much they loan out or maybe even looking at the possibilities just trying to help countries when they need help for major things and not small and minor things. If they keep doing small help here and there it is just dwindling what they have and its just running what resources they have out.
Overseas Development Institute
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute is one of the leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement...

 (ODI) research undertaken in 1980 pointed to five main criticisms of the IMF. Firstly, developed countries were seen to have a more dominant role and control over less developed countries (LDCs) primarily due to the Western bias towards a capitalist form of the world economy with professional staff being Western trained and believing in the efficacy of market-oriented policies.

Secondly, the Fund worked on the incorrect assumption that all payments disequilibria were caused domestically. The Group of 24 (G-24), on behalf of LDC members, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body. It is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues....

 (UNCTAD) complained that the Fund did not distinguish sufficiently between disequilibria with predominantly external as opposed to internal causes. This criticism was voiced in the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

. Then LDCs found themselves with payments deficits due to adverse changes in their terms of trade, with the Fund prescribing stabilisation programmes similar to those suggested for deficits caused by government over-spending. Faced with long-term, externally-generated disequilibria, the Group of 24 argued that LDCs should be allowed more time to adjust their economies and that the policies needed to achieve such adjustment are different from demand-management programmes devised primarily with internally generated disequilibria in mind.

The third criticism was that the effects of Fund policies were anti-developmental. The deflationary effects of IMF programmes quickly led to losses of output and employment in economies where incomes were low and unemployment was high. Moreover, it was sometimes claimed that the burden of the deflationary effects was borne disproportionately by the poor.

Fourthly is the accusation that harsh policy conditions were self-defeating where a vicious circle developed when members refused loans due to harsh conditionality, making their economy worse and eventually taking loans as a drastic medicine.

Lastly is the point that the Fund's policies lack a clear economic rationale. Its policy foundations were theoretical and unclear due to differing opinions and departmental rivalries whilst dealing with countries with widely varying economic circumstances.

ODI conclusions were that the Fund’s very nature of promoting market-oriented economic approach attracted unavoidable criticism, as LDC governments were likely to object when in a tight corner. Yet, on the other hand, the Fund could provide a ‘scapegoat service’ where governments could take loans as a last resort, whilst blaming international bankers for any economic downfall. The ODI conceded that the fund was to some extent insensitive to political aspirations of LDCs, while its policy conditions were inflexible.

Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, which had been considered by the IMF to be a model country in its compliance to policy proposals by the Bretton Woods
Bretton Woods system
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world's major industrial states in the mid 20th century...

 institutions, experienced a catastrophic economic crisis in 2001, which some believe to have been caused by IMF-induced budget restrictions—which undercut the government’s ability to sustain national infrastructure even in crucial areas such as health, education, and security—and privatization of strategically vital national resources. Others attribute the crisis to Argentina’s misdesigned fiscal federalism, which caused subnational spending to increase rapidly. The crisis added to widespread hatred of this institution in Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and other South American countries, with many blaming the IMF for the region’s economic problems. The current—as of early 2006—trend toward moderate left-wing governments in the region and a growing concern with the development of a regional economic policy largely independent of big business pressures has been ascribed to this crisis.

In an interview, the former Romanian Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu
Călin Constantin Anton Popescu-Tăriceanu is a Romanian politician. He was the Prime Minister of Romania between 29 December 2004 and 22 December 2008...

 claimed that "Since 2005, IMF is constantly making mistakes when it appreciates the country's economic performances."

The delay in the IMF’s response to any crisis, and the fact that it tends to only respond to them rather than prevent them, has led many economists to argue for reform. In 2006 an IMF reform agenda called the Medium Term Strategy was widely endorsed by the institution’s member countries. The agenda includes changes in IMF governance to enhance the role of developing countries in the institution’s decision-making process and steps to deepen the effectiveness of its core mandate, which is known as economic surveillance or helping member countries adopt macroeconomic policies that will sustain global growth and reduce poverty. On June 15, 2007, the executive board of the IMF adopted the 2007 Decision on Bilateral Surveillance, a landmark measure that replaced a 30-year-old decision of the Fund’s member countries on how the IMF should analyze economic outcomes at the country level.

Support of military dictatorships

The role of the Bretton Woods institutions
Bretton Woods system
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world's major industrial states in the mid 20th century...

 has been controversial since the late Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 period, due to claims that the IMF policy makers supported military dictatorship
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

s friendly to American and European corporations and other anti-communist regimes. Critics also claim that the IMF is generally apathetic or hostile to their views of human rights, and labor rights
Labor rights
Labor rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, these rights' debates have to do with negotiating workers' pay, benefits, and safe...

. The controversy has helped spark the Anti-globalization movement
Anti-globalization movement
The anti-globalization movement, or counter-globalisation movement, is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement, alter-globalization movement, anti-globalist movement, anti-corporate globalization movement, or...


Arguments in favor of the IMF say that economic stability is a precursor to democracy; however, critics highlight various examples in which democratized countries fell after receiving IMF loans.

Impact on access to food

A number of civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 organizations have criticized the IMF’s policies for their impact on people’s access to food, particularly in developing countries. In October 2008, former U.S. president Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 presented a speech to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 World Food Day
World Food Day
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945...

, which criticized the World Bank and IMF for their policies on food and agriculture:

Impact on public health

In 2008 a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 by tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries to which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6%.

In 2009, a book by Rick Rowden titled The Deadly Ideas of Neoliberalism: How the IMF has Undermined Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS, claimed that the IMF’s monetarist approach towards prioritizing price stability (low inflation) and fiscal restraint (low budget deficits) was unnecessarily restrictive and has prevented developing countries from being able to scale up long-term public investment as a percent of GDP in the underlying public health infrastructure. The book claimed the consequences have been chronically underfunded public health systems, leading to dilapidated health infrastructure, inadequate numbers of health personnel, and demoralizing working conditions that have fueled the “push factors” driving the brain drain of nurses migrating from poor countries to rich ones, all of which has undermined public health systems and the fight against HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

Impact on environment

IMF policies have been repeatedly criticized for making it difficult for indebted countries to avoid ecosystem-damaging projects that generate cash flow, in particular oil, coal, and forest-destroying lumber and agriculture projects. Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 for example had to defy IMF advice repeatedly in order to pursue the protection of its rain forests, though paradoxically this need was cited in IMF argument to support that country. The IMF acknowledged this paradox in a March 2010 staff position report which proposed the IMF Green Fund, a mechanism to issue Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...

 directly to pay for climate harm prevention and potentially other ecological protection as pursued generally by other environmental finance
Environmental finance
Environmental Finance is the use of various financial instruments to protect the environment. The field is part of both environmental economics and the conservation movement....


While the response to these moves was generally positive possibly because ecological protection and energy and infrastructure transformation are more politically neutral than pressures to change social policy. Some experts voiced concern that the IMF was not representative, and that the IMF proposals to generate only US$200 billion a year by 2020 with the SDRs as seed funds, did not go far enough to undo the general incentive to pursue destructive projects inherent in the world commodity trading and banking systems—criticisms often leveled at the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 and large global banking institutions.

In the context of the May 2010 European banking crisis, some observers also noted that Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, two troubled economies within Europe and the United States respectively, and also Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the primary and politically most fragile supporter of a euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 currency bailout would benefit from IMF recognition of their leadership in green technology, and directly from Green Fund–generated demand for their exports, which might also improve their credit standing with international bankers.

Criticism from free-market advocates

Typically the IMF and its supporters advocate a monetarist approach. As such, adherents of supply-side economics
Supply-side economics
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering barriers for people to produce goods and services, such as lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing...

 generally find themselves in open disagreement with the IMF. The IMF frequently advocates currency devaluation
Devaluation is a reduction in the value of a currency with respect to those goods, services or other monetary units with which that currency can be exchanged....

, criticized by proponents of supply-side economics as inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...


Currency devaluation is recommended by the IMF to the governments of poor nations with struggling economies. Some economists claim these IMF policies are destructive to economic prosperity.

Managing director

Historically the IMF’s managing director has been European and the president of the World Bank has been from the United States. However, this standard is increasingly being questioned and competition for these two posts may soon open up to include other qualified candidates from any part of the world. Executive director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

s, who confirm the managing director, are voted in by finance minister
Finance minister
The finance minister is a cabinet position in a government.A minister of finance has many different jobs in a government. He or she helps form the government budget, stimulate the economy, and control finances...

s from countries they represent. The first deputy managing director of the IMF, the second in command, has traditionally been (and is today) an American.

The IMF is for the most part controlled by the major Western powers, with voting rights on the executive board based on a quota derived from the relative size of a country in the global economy. Critics claim that the board rarely votes and passes issues contradicting the will of the U.S. or Europeans, which combined represent the largest bloc of shareholders in the Fund. By contrast, executive directors that represent emerging and developing countries have many times strongly defended the group of nations in their constituency. Alexandre Kafka
Alexandre Kafka
Alexandre Kafka was an international economist mainly known for his work as an Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund .- Biography :...

, who represented several Latin American countries for 32 years as Executive Director (including 21 as the dean of the Board), is a prime example.

EU ministers agreed on the candidacy of Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn , often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party...

, Socialist Party MP and former finance minister in France, as managing director of the IMF at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council
Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council is one of the oldest configurations of the Council of the European Union and is composed of the Economics and Finance Ministers of the 27 European Union member states, as well as Budget Ministers when budgetary issues are discussed.ECOFIN often works with...

 meeting in Brussels on July 10, 2007. On September 28, 2007, the International Monetary Fund’s 24 executive directors elected Dominic Strauss-Kahn as new managing director, with broad support including from the United States and the 27-nation European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Strauss-Kahn succeeded Spain's Rodrigo Rato
Rodrigo Rato
Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo is a Spanish political figure who served in the government of Spain as Minister of the Economy from 1996 to 2004; a member of the conservative People's Party , he was also First Deputy Prime Minister from 2003 to 2004...

, who retired on October 31, 2007.

The only other nominee was Josef Tošovský
Josef Tošovský
Josef Tošovský is a Czech economist and was governor of Czech National Bank from 1993 to 2000. From 16 December 1997 to 17 July 1998 he was the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic in a caretaker government.Tošovský graduated from the University of Economics, Prague...

, a late candidate proposed by Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Strauss-Kahn said: "I am determined to pursue without delay the reforms needed for the IMF to make financial stability serve the international community, while fostering growth and employment."

In April 2011, press reports linked the former United Kingdom prime minister Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 with the role as the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund. However, these reports received mixed reception. Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...

, who succeeded Brown as the Labour Party’s
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 leader after their 2010 general election defeat, backed Brown for the role as his handling of the global economic crisis three years earlier had been “outstanding.” However, the new Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 prime minister David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

 spoke of the possibility that he would veto Brown from taking the position.

The IMF announced on May 15, 2011 that John Lipsky
John Lipsky
John Phillip Lipsky is an American economist. He was the acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from May to July 2011. He assumed the post of Acting Managing Director after Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 accused of sexual assault...

 had become acting managing director. This was because of Strauss-Kahn's arrest in connection with charges of sexually assaulting
Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case
New York v. Strauss-Kahn was a criminal case relating to allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape made by a hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, against Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the Sofitel New York Hotel on May 14, 2011. The charges were dismissed at the request of the prosecution which pointed...

 a New York room attendant. Strauss-Kahn subsequently resigned his position on May 18.
On June 14, the IMF announced two candidates had been shortlisted for the post. These were Agustín Carstens
Agustín Carstens
Agustín Guillermo Carstens Carstens is a Mexican economist who has served as Governor of the Bank of Mexico since and was recently seeking to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund...

, governor of the Mexican central bank, and Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French lawyer and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund since July 5, 2011...

, French finance minister.

Early in the contest the world's largest developing countries, the BRIC nations, issued an unusual statement declaring that the tradition of appointing a European as managing director undermined the legitimacy of the IMF and called for the appointment to be merit-based.

The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 noted that the U.S. faced a delicate dilemma in backing a candidate. On the one hand it had advocated for more emerging-market representation and governance reform, a position favoring Agustin Carstens. On the other hand, it would wish to maintain its hold on its appointment of the No. 2 spot at the fund and its selection of the head of the World Bank, a position favoring Christine Lagarde.

In the event, the U.S. came out in favour of Lagarde, along with the BRIC nations Brazil, Russia, India and China, and on June 28 Lagarde was accordingly confirmed Managing Director of the IMF for a five-year term, starting on July 5, 2011.
Dates Name Nationality
May 6, 1946 – May 5, 1951 Camille Gutt
Camille Gutt
Camille Gutt , born Camille Guttenstein, was a Belgian economist, politician, and industrialist. He served as the first Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 6 May 1946 to 5 May 1951...

August 3, 1951 – October 3, 1956 Ivar Rooth
Ivar Rooth
Ivar Rooth was the International Monetary Fund 's second Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, serving from 1951–1956. He was born on November 2, 1888, in Stockholm, Sweden...

November 21, 1956 – May 5, 1963 Per Jacobsson
Per Jacobsson
Per Jacobsson was managing director of the International Monetary Fund from November 21, 1956 until his death in 1963. Born in Tanum, Bohuslän, Jacobsson received degrees in law and economics from the Uppsala University....

September 1, 1963 – August 31, 1973 Pierre-Paul Schweitzer
Pierre-Paul Schweitzer
Pierre-Paul Schweitzer was the International Monetary Fund 's fourth Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, serving from 1963 to 1973.-Early life and education:...

September 1, 1973 – June 16, 1978 Johannes Witteveen
June 17, 1978 – January 15, 1987 Jacques de Larosière
Jacques de Larosière
Jacques de Larosière de Champfeu is a French civil servant. He is the Chairman of the Strategic Committee of the French Treasury and Advisor to BNP Paribas, became President of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in September 1993 in the wake of the scandals that led...

January 16, 1987 – February 14, 2000 Michel Camdessus
Michel Camdessus
Michel Camdessus is a French applied economist and administrator who was Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 16 January 1987 to 14 February 2000. To date, he is the longest serving Managing Director of the IMF....

May 1, 2000 – March 4, 2004 Horst Köhler
Horst Köhler
Horst Köhler is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union. He was President of Germany from 2004 to 2010. As the candidate of the two Christian Democratic sister parties, the CDU and the CSU, and the liberal FDP, Köhler was elected to his first five-year term by the Federal Assembly on...

June 7, 2004 – October 31, 2007 Rodrigo Rato
Rodrigo Rato
Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo is a Spanish political figure who served in the government of Spain as Minister of the Economy from 1996 to 2004; a member of the conservative People's Party , he was also First Deputy Prime Minister from 2003 to 2004...

November 1, 2007 – May 18, 2011 Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn , often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party...

July 5, 2011 – Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French lawyer and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund since July 5, 2011...

Women in the IMF

Women have been a very influential asset to the IMF. It is presumed that women see comfort in a 'supported home life'. This attitude is helping the IMF reestablish itself as the institution it was founded on and what it should be. Women have started to gain positions in the IMF that were previously only open to European or American men. There have been numerous programs started to represent women properly within the IMF. Currently, the managing director of the IMF, as stated above, is a woman.


The head of the IMF's European department is António Borges of Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, former deputy governor of the Bank of Portugal. He was elected October 2010.


The computer systems of the IMF were breached by hackers on 12 June 2011 after an assault lasting several months. The chief information officer of the IMF stated in an internal memo that they "have no reason to believe that any personal information was sought for fraud purposes." The US Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI) is investigating the attacks, which officials from the IMF said was conducted by "hackers believed to be connected to a foreign government."

In the media

Life and Debt
Life and Debt
Life and Debt is a 2001 American documentary film directed by Stephanie Black. It examines the economic and social situation in Jamaica, and specifically the impact thereon of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's globalization policies...

, a documentary film, deals with the IMF's policies' influence on Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 and its economy from a critical point of view. Debtocracy
Debtocracy is a 2011 documentary film by Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou. The documentary mainly focuses on two points: the causes of the Greek debt crisis in 2010 and possible future solutions that could be given to the problem that are not currently being considered by the government of...

, a 2011 independent Greek documentary film, also takes a look into the IMF and its tactics when it comes to providing financial help to endebted nations, taking a negative stand against the organization.

Further reading

  • Bordo, M. D. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview", in "A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System, edited by M. D. Bordo and B. Eichengreen. London:1993;
  • Boughton, J. M. "Silent Revolution: The International Monetary Fund 1979-1989", Washington DC, 2001.
  • James, H. "International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods", Oxford, 1996.
  • Joicey, N. and Pickford, S. "The International Monetary Fund and Global Economic Cooperation" in Nicholas Bayne and Stephen Woolcock, "The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Relations", (Ashgate Publishing, 2011).
  • Keynes, J. M. "The Collected Writings, Vol.XXVI. Activies 1941-1946: Shaping the Post-War World: Bretton Woods and Reparations", Cambridge, 1980.
  • Moschella, M. Governing Risk: The IMF and Global Financial Crises (Palgrave Macmillan; 2010).
  • Skidelsky, R. "John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain", London, 2000.
  • Truman, E. Strengthening IMF Surveillance: A Comprehensive Proposal, Policy Brief 10-29, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2010.
  • Woods, N. "The Globalizers:The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers", Ithaca, 2006

External links

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