Fact Sheet IMF – Academic

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Cooperative financial ins­­titution that ensures stability of the system of exchange rates and payments 

HISTORY & OVERVIEW 

  • Conceived in 1944 at the United Nations (UN) conference in Bretton Woods, NH, United States (US)
  • Headquartered in Washington D.C. (US) since formally established 72 years ago (1945)
  • Separate UN body with 2,700 employees from 148 countries and with an independent governance
  • Accountable to the 189 country members governments and their fiscal agents
  • Issues an international reserve asset known as Special Drawing Rights DR that can supplement members’ official reserves

ORIGINAL AIMS 

  • Provide a forum for financial and economic cooperation between countries
  • Facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade
  • Promote exchange rate stability
  • Assist in the establishment of a multilateral arrangement where different actors transfer capital
  • Make funds available to members lacking necessary financial resources to meet payment obligations

SCOPE OF WORK

  • Surveillance of risks and economic and financial policies of members’ countries
  • Financial loans to aid countries balance problems to meet previously acquired payment commitments
  • Technical assistance and training to help members design and implement economic policies

 RESOURCES

  • US $668 billion provided by member countries’ quotas
  • Borrowing agreements from multilateral and bilateral countries members of the IMF

QUOTA SYSTEM

  • Member countries receive voting power percentages according to their quotas contributions
    • Based on countries’ relative position on economy, the IMF establishes a quota percentage

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

  • Board of Governor with one representative of each member country and one substitute
    • Approves new amendments, resources allocations, and admissions and withdrawals of members
  • 24-members Executive Board
    • In charge of daily business activities (Annual analysis of members economic issues and policies)
  • Managing director of the IMF and chairman of the Executive Board: Christine Lagarde (France)

DEFINITIONS & ABREVIATIONS

  • IMF: International Monetary Fund
  • SDR: Special Drawing Right
  • UN: United Nations
  • QUOTA: Contribution from members
  • IMFC: International Monetary and Financial Committee
  • IMS: International Monetary System
  • Voting Power: Percentage of power of each member that is proportional to the Quota percentage
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