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TWN Global Economy Series No. 7

Reforming the IMF: Back to the Drawing Board
by Yilmaz Akyüz

Publisher: Third World Network (ISBN:983-2729-53-X

Year: 2006   No. of pages: 72

PRICE
US$8 for First World countries
US$6 for Third World countries
RM8 for Malaysia
Prices are inclusive of postage costs by airmail.

About the book

A genuine reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would require as much a redirection of its activities as improvements in its policies and operational modalities.

There is no sound rationale for the Fund to be involved in development and trade policy, or in bail-out operations in emerging market crises. It should focus on short-term counter-cyclical current account financing and policy surveillance. 

To be effective in crisis prevention it should help emerging markets to manage unsustainable capital inflows by promoting appropriate measures, including direct and indirect controls.  It should also pay greater attention to destabilising impulses originating from macroeconomic and financial policies in major industrial countries. 

Any reform designed to bring greater legitimacy would need to address shortcomings in its governance structure, but the Fund is unlikely to become a genuinely multilateral institution with equal rights and obligations for all its members, de facto as well as de jure, unless it ceases to depend on a few countries for resources and there is a clear separation between multilateral and bilateral arrangements in debt and finance.

About the Author

DR. YILMAZ AKYÜZ was the Director of the Division on Globalisation and Development Strategies and Chief Economist at UNCTAD until his retirement in August 2003. He was the principal author and head of the team preparing the UNCTAD Trade and Development Report, and UNCTAD coordinator of research support to developing countries (the Group of 24) in the IMF and the World Bank on international monetary and financial issues. Before joining UNCTAD in 1984 he taught at various universities in Turkey, England and elsewhere in Europe. He has published extensively in macroeconomics, finance, growth and development. Since retiring from UNCTAD, he has held the Tun Ismail Ali Chair in Monetary and Financial Economics, University of Malaya. His current activities include policy research for international organisations, and advising governments on development policy issues, and TWN on research in trade, finance and development.

CONTENTS

1.   INTRODUCTION                         

2.   THE ORIGINAL RATIONALE AND THE POSTWAR EVOLUTION OF THE IMF         

3.   MISSION CREEP INTO DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AND POLICY 

4.   TRESPASSING IN TRADE POLICY     

5    CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND RESOLUTION: BAILOUTS OR WORKOUTS?        

6    RESTRUCTURING IMF LENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING RESOURCES

7    INEFFECTIVENESS AND ASYMMETRY OF FUND SURVEILLANCE        

8    GOVERNANCE: MAKING THE FUND A GENUINELY MULTILATERAL INSTITUTION

9    SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

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