CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO IMF
1.1 Formation of IMF
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, countries attempted to shore up their failing economies by sharply raising barriers to foreign trade, devaluing their currencies to compete against each other for export markets, and curtailing their citizens' freedom to hold foreign exchange. These attempts proved to be self-defeating. World trade declined sharply (see chart below), and employment and living standards plummeted in many countries. This breakdown in international monetary cooperation led the IMF's founders to plan an institution charged with overseeing the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries and their citizens to buy goods and services from each other. The new global entity would ensure exchange rate stability and encourage its member countries to eliminate exchange restrictions that hindered trade.
The Bretton Woods agreement
The IMF was conceived in July 1944, when representatives of 45 countries meeting in the town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in the northeastern United States, agreed on a framework for international economic cooperation, to be established after the Second World War. They believed that such a framework was necessary to avoid a repetition of the disastrous economic policies that had contributed to the Great Depression. The IMF came into formal existence in December 1945, when its first 29 member countries signed its Articles of Agreement. It began operations on March 1, 1947. Later that year, France became the first country to borrow from the IMF. The IMF's membership began to expand in the late 1950s and during the 1960s as many African countries became independent and applied for membership. But the Cold War limited the Fund's membership, with most countries in the Soviet sphere of influence not joining. 1.2 IMF:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries. The IMF's stated goal was to assist in the reconstruction of the world's international payment system post–World War II. Countries contribute money to a pool through a quota system from which countries with payment imbalances can borrow funds temporarily. Through this activity and others such as surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for self-correcting policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.
The IMF describes itself as “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.” The organization's stated objectives are to promote international economic co-operation, international trade, employment, and exchange rate stability, including by making financial resources available to member countries to meet balance of payments needs Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., United States. 1.3 Member countries
IMF member states
IMF member states not accepting the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4
The 188 members of the IMF include 187 members of the UN and the Republic of Kosovo. All members of the IMF are also International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) members and vice versa. Former members are Cuba (which left in 1964) and the Republic of China, which was ejected from the UN in 1980 after losing the support of the US President Jimmy Carter and was replaced by the People's Republic of China. However, "Taiwan Province of China" is still listed in the official IMF indices.[ Apart from Cuba, the other UN states that do not belong to the IMF are Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Nauru and North Korea. The former Czechoslovakia was expelled in 1954 for "failing to provide required data" and was readmitted in...
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