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The International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/. About the IMF.

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about the imf
About the IMF
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 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.
original aims
Original aims
  • The IMF was founded more than 60 years ago toward the end of World War II . The founders aimed to build a framework for economic cooperation that would avoid a repetition of the disastrous economic policies that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s and the global conflict that followed.
  • Since then the world has changed dramatically, bringing extensive prosperity and lifting millions out of poverty, especially in Asia. In many ways the IMF's main purpose—to provide the global public good of financial stability
key imf activities
Key IMF activities
  • policy advice to governments and central banks based on analysis of economic trends and cross-country experiences;
  • research, statistics, forecasts, and analysis based on tracking of global, regional, and individual economies and markets;
  • loans to help countries overcome economic difficulties;
  • concessional loans to help fight poverty in developing countries; and
  • technical assistance and training to help countries improve the management of their economies.
the imf s main business
The IMF's main business

The IMF’s job is to promote a stable international monetary system, in which member countries can achieve high rates of employment, low inflation, and sustainable economic growth. The IMF does this by:

  • overseeing the international monetary system by regularly reviewing national, regional, and global economic and financial developments;
  • providing economic monitoring and policy advice to its 188 member countries, encouraging them to adopt policies that foster economic stability, reduce their vulnerability to economic and financial crises, and raise living standards; and
  • analyzing the impact of countries’ policies on others; applying lessons from cross-country experiences to each country’s unique situation; and providing a forum for international cooperation on global economic and financial issues.
membership
Membership
  • The IMF currently has a near-global membership of 188 countries. To become a member, a country must apply and then be accepted by a majority of the existing members. In April 2012, Republic of South Sudan joined the IMF, becoming the institution's 188th member.
  • Subscriptions :A country must pay its subscription in full upon joining the IMF: up to 25 percent must be paid in the IMF's own currency, called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) or widely accepted currencies (such as the dollar, the euro, the yen, or pound sterling), while the rest is paid in the member's own currency.
  • Voting power : Each IMF member's votes are comprised of basic votes plus one additional vote for each SDR 100,000 of quota
  • Access to financing: The amount of financing a member country can obtain from the IMF is based on its quota
  • SDR allocations: SDRs are used as an international reserve asset. A member's share of general SDR allocations is established in proportion to its quota. 
slide7
Work
  • The IMF's fundamental mission is to help ensure stability in the international system. It does so in three ways: keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries; lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and giving practical help to members.
  • Surveillance
  • Technical Assistance
  • Lending
  • Research and data
quotas
Quotas
  • Each member country's quota broadly reflects the size of its economy: the larger a country's economy in terms of output and the larger and more variable its trade, the larger its quota tends to be. For example, the world's biggest economy, the United States, has the largest quota in the IMF.
  • Quotas, together with the equal number of basic votes each member has, determine countries 'voting power. They also help determine how much countries can borrow from the IMF and their share in allocations of special drawing rights or SDRs 
  • Countries pay 25 percent of their quota subscriptions in SDRs or major currencies, such as U.S. dollars, euros, pounds sterling, or Japanese yen. They pay the remaining 75 percent in their own currencies. The IMF's lending resources come mainly from the money that countries pay as these quota subscriptions when they become members.
  • Quotas are normally reviewed every five years
special drawing rights
Special Drawing Rights
  • The Special Drawing Right (SDR) is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries..
  • Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. 
  • The value of the SDR is based on a basket of key international currencies—the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar.
  • IMF may allocate SDRs to members in proportion to their IMF quotas, providing each member with a costless asset. However, if a member’s SDR holdings rise above its allocation, it earns interest on the excess; conversely, if it holds fewer SDRs than allocated, it pays interest on the shortfall.
gold with imf
Gold with IMF
  • The IMF holds a relatively large amount of gold among its assets, not only for reasons of financial soundness, but also to meet unforeseen contingencies.
  • The IMF holds about 90.5 million ounces, or 2,814.1 metric tons, of gold at designated depositories.
  • The IMF's holdings amount to about $160 billion (as determined by end-February 2012 market prices)
  • Until the late 1970s, 25 percent of member countries' initial quota subscriptions and subsequent quota increases had to be paid for with gold. Payment of charges and repayments to the IMF by its members constituted other sources of gold.erminedby end-February 2012 market prices)
borrowing arrangements
Borrowing Arrangements
  • If the IMF believes that its resources might fall short of members' needs—for example, in the event of a major financial crisis—it can supplement its own resources by borrowing. 
  • In April 2009, the Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies agreed to triple the Fund’s lending capacity to $750 billion, enabling it to inject extra liquidity into the world economy during this time of crisis. The additional support will come from several sources, including contributions from member countries that have pledged to help boost the Fund’s lending capacity.