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The IMF and reforming the global monetary system

Renewed strength with reforms far behind

Since Dominique Strauss-Kahn – the self-anointed “reform director” – became the head of the International Monetary Fund, there have been regular questions as to how things are proceeding with his reforms. The diagnosis usually is: in the course of the financial crisis, the Fund has made enormous gains in power but reform of its policies and governance model are far behind. This discrepancy will not be remedied by the French G20 presidency either, so forecasts Rainer Falk.


The good news first: The emphasis of the French G20 agenda, the reform of the international monetary system, finally shifts the debate about the future role of the IMF to its original core mandate, namely monitoring and guaranteeing stability of the global monetary and financial system. Since the abolition of fixed exchange rates at the beginning of the 70s, one could actually speak of a “non-system” that left the price of currencies to the fluctuations of deregulated markets. During the global financial crisis this “system” was definitely driven ad absurdum, so that reform efforts in fact could only tend toward re-regulation ...

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