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Europe Global Environment & Development The New South From G8 to G20 The Development Agenda UN Reform Global Finance Doha Final The Euro-zone in Crisis Eastern Europe

The failure of the International Monetary Fund

Its focus should be crisis prevention, not lending

Again, the only big winner of the recent G20 Seoul Summit seems to be the International Monetary Fund. The G20 approved the changes in the IMF’s governance, expanded several IMF lending programs and empowered the Fund to help address global imbalances. Yet in a new South Centre report (see reference) Yilmaz Akyüz shows that the Fund is a failed institution that – without fundamental reform – is not well suited to be at the centre of international crisis management.


In its website under the rubric “About the IMF”, the Fund defines its main purpose as the provision of “the global public good of financial stability”. As spelled out in its Articles of Agreement, this calls for a stable system of exchange rates, sustainable current account balances and orderly currency and balance-of-payments adjustments. The Fund undertakes economic and financial surveillance at the national and global levels and provides policy advice to its members in order to prevent instability and crises and lends to those facing external payment difficulties in order to facilitate adjustment ...

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G20 at the crossroads: Clash or cooperation? / Towards the Seoul Development Agenda


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