International Monetary Fund - Wikipedia
Central America is considered by the US government as part of its own exclusive sphere of influence. The policies adopted by the World Bank. Superficially the Bank and IMF exhibit many common characteristics. At Bretton Woods the international community assigned to the World Bank the aims implied in its . The IMF has gone through two distinct phases in its year history. . promotes exchange stability and orderly exchange relations among its member. Describe the IMF's current role and major challenges and opportunities. Understand the history and purpose of the World Bank. Describe the World Bank's.
The poorer the country, the more favorable the conditions under which it can borrow from the Bank. Per capita GNP, a less formidable term than it sounds, is a measure of wealth, obtained by dividing the value of goods and services produced in a country during one year by the number of people in that country.
These loans carry an interest rate slightly above the market rate at which the Bank itself borrows and must generally be repaid within years. IDA loans are interest free and have a maturity of 35 or 40 years. In contrast, all member nations, both wealthy and poor, have the right to financial assistance from the IMF. Maintaining an orderly and stable international monetary system requires all participants in that system to fulfill their financial obligations to other participants.
Membership in the IMF gives to each country that experiences a shortage of foreign exchange--preventing it from fulfilling these obligations--temporary access to the IMF's pool of currencies to resolve this difficulty, usually referred to as a balance of payments problem. These problems are no respecter of economic size or level of per capita GNP, with the result that over the years almost all members of the IMF, from the smallest developing country to the largest industrial country, have at one time or other had recourse to the IMF and received from it financial assistance to tide them over difficult periods.
Money received from the IMF must normally be repaid within three to five years, and in no case later than ten years. Interest rates are slightly below market rates, but are not so concessional as those assigned to the World Bank's IDA loans. Through the use of IMF resources, countries have been able to buy time to rectify economic policies and to restore growth without having to resort to actions damaging to other members' economies.
World Bank Operations The World Bank exists to encourage poor countries to develop by providing them with technical assistance and funding for projects and policies that will realize the countries' economic potential.
The Bank views development as a long-term, integrated endeavor. During the first two decades of its existence, two thirds of the assistance provided by the Bank went to electric power and transportation projects.
Although these so-called infrastructure projects remain important, the Bank has diversified its activities in recent years as it has gained experience with and acquired new insights into the development process. The Bank gives particular attention to projects that can directly benefit the poorest people in developing countries. The direct involvement of the poorest in economic activity is being promoted through lending for agriculture and rural development, small-scale enterprises, and urban development.
The Bank is helping the poor to be more productive and to gain access to such necessities as safe water and waste-disposal facilities, health care, family-planning assistance, nutrition, education, and housing. Within infrastructure projects there have also been changes. In transportation projects, greater attention is given to constructing farm-to-market roads.
Rather than concentrating exclusively on cities, power projects increasingly provide lighting and power for villages and small farms. Industrial projects place greater emphasis on creating jobs in small enterprises. Labor-intensive construction is used where practical. In addition to electric power, the Bank is supporting development of oil, gas, coal, fuelwood, and biomass as alternative sources of energy. The Bank provides most of its financial and technical assistance to developing countries by supporting specific projects.
Although IBRD loans and IDA credits are made on different financial terms, the two institutions use the same standards in assessing the soundness of projects. The decision whether a project will receive IBRD or IDA financing depends on the economic condition of the country and not on the characteristics of the project.
Its borrowing member countries also look to the Bank as a source of technical assistance. But the amount of Bank-financed technical assistance for free-standing loans and to prepare projects has also increased.
The Bank serves as executing agency for technical assistance projects financed by the United Nations Development Program in agriculture and rural development, energy, and economic planning.
In response to the economic climate in many of its member countries, the Bank is now emphasizing technical assistance for institutional development and macroeconomic policy formulation. Every project supported by the Bank is designed in close collaboration with national governments and local agencies, and often in cooperation with other multilateral assistance organizations. Indeed, about half of all Bank-assisted projects also receive cofinancing from official sources, that is, governments, multilateral financial institutions, and export-credit agencies that directly finance the procurement of goods and services, and from private sources, such as commercial banks.
In making loans to developing countries, the Bank does not compete with other sources of finance. It assists only those projects for which the required capital is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.
Through its work, the Bank seeks to strengthen the economies of borrowing nations so that they can graduate from reliance on Bank resources and meet their financial needs, on terms they can afford directly from conventional sources of capital. The range of the Bank's activities is far broader than its lending operations. Since the Bank's lending decisions depend heavily on the economic condition of the borrowing country, the Bank carefully studies its economy and the needs of the sectors for which lending is contemplated.
These analyses help in formulating an appropriate long-term development assistance strategy for the economy. Of the 34 very poor countries that borrowed money from IDA during the earliest years, more than two dozen have made enough progress for them no longer to need IDA money, leaving that money available to other countries that joined the Bank more recently.
The IMF and the World Bank: How Do They Differ?
Similarly, about 20 countries that formerly borrowed money from the IBRD no longer have to do so. An outstanding example is Japan. For a period of 14 years, it borrowed from the IBRD. During the first phase, ending inthe IMF oversaw the adoption of general convertibility among the major currencies, supervised a system of fixed exchange rates tied to the value of gold, and provided short-term financing to countries in need of a quick infusion of foreign exchange to keep their currencies at par value or to adjust to changing economic circumstances.
Difficulties encountered in maintaining a system of fixed exchange rates gave rise to unstable monetary and financial conditions throughout the world and led the international community to reconsider how the IMF could most effectively function in a regime of flexible exchange rates. After five years of analysis and negotiationthe IMF's second phase began with the amendment of its constitution inbroadening its functions to enable it to grapple with the challenges that have arisen since the collapse of the par value system.
These functions are three. First, the IMF continues to urge its members to allow their national currencies to be exchanged without restriction for the currencies of other member countries.
As of Maymembers had agreed to full convertibility of their national currencies. Second, in place of monitoring members' compliance with their obligations in a fixed exchange system, the IMF supervises economic policies that influence their balance of payments in the presently legalized flexible exchange rate environment.
This supervision provides opportunities for an early warning of any exchange rate or balance of payments problem. In this, the IMF's role is principally advisory. It confers at regular intervals usually once a year with its members, analyzing their economic positions and apprising them of actual or potential problems arising from their policies, and keeps the entire membership informed of these developments.
Third, the IMF continues to provide short- and medium-term financial assistance to member nations that run into temporary balance of payments difficulties. The financial assistance usually involves the provision by the IMF of convertible currencies to augment the afflicted member's dwindling foreign exchange reserves, but only in return for the government's promise to reform the economic policies that caused the balance of payments problem in the first place.
The IMF sees its financial role in these cases not as subsidizing further deficits but as easing a country's painful transition to living within its means.
The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
How in practice does the IMF assist its members? The key opening the door to IMF assistance is the member's balance of payments, the tally of its payments and receipts with other nations. Foreign payments should be in rough balance: When financial problems cause the price of a member's currency and the price of its goods to fall out of line, balance of payments difficulties are sure to follow. If this happens, the member country may, by virtue of the Articles of Agreement, apply to the IMF for assistance.
To illustrate, let us take the example of a small country whose economy is based on agriculture. For convenience in trade, the government of such a country generally pegs the domestic currency to a convertible currency: Unless the exchange rate is adjusted from time to time to take account of changes in relative prices, the domestic currency will tend to become overvalued, with an exchange rate, say, of one unit of domestic currency to one U.
Governments, however, often succumb to the temptation to tolerate overvaluation, because an overvalued currency makes imports cheaper than they would be if the currency were correctly priced. The other side of the coin, unfortunately, is that overvaluation makes the country's exports more expensive and hence less attractive to foreign buyers.
If the currency is thus overvalued, the country will eventually experience a fall-off in export earnings exports are too expensive and a rise in import expenditures imports are apparently cheap and are bought on credit. In effect, the country is earning less, spending more, and going into debt, a predicament as unsustainable for a country as it is for any of us.
Moreover, this situation is usually attended by a host of other economic ills for the country. Finding a diminished market for their export crops and receiving low prices from the government marketing board for produce consumed domestically, farmers either resort to illegal black market exports or lose the incentive to produce. Many of them abandon the farm to seek employment in overcrowded cities, where they become part of larger social and economic problems.
Declining domestic agricultural productivity forces the government to use scarce foreign exchange reserves scarce because export earnings are down to buy food from abroad.
- International Monetary Fund
- Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt
The balance of payments becomes dangerously distorted. As an IMF member, a country finding itself in this bind can turn to the IMF for consultative and financial assistance. In a collaborative effort, the country and the IMF can attempt to root out the causes of the payments imbalance by working out a comprehensive program that, depending on the particulars of the case, might include raising producer prices paid to farmers so as to encourage agricultural production and reverse migration to the cities, lowering interest rates to expand the supply of credit, and adjusting the currency to reflect the level of world prices, thereby discouraging imports and raising the competitiveness of exports.
Because reorganizing the economy to implement these reforms is disruptive and not without cost, the IMF will lend money to subsidize policy reforms during the period of transition. To ensure that this money is put to the most productive uses, the IMF closely monitors the country's economic progress during this time, providing technical assistance and further consultative services as needed. In addition to assisting its members in this way, the IMF also helps by providing technical assistance in organizing central banks, establishing and reforming tax systems, and setting up agencies to gather and publish economic statistics.
The IMF is also authorized to issue a special type of money, called the SDR, to provide its members with additional liquidity. Known technically as a fiduciary asset, the SDR can be retained by members as part of their monetary reserves or be used in place of national currencies in transactions with other members.
To date the IMF has issued slightly over Over the past few years, in response to an emerging interest by the world community to return to a more stable system of exchange rates that would reduce the present fluctuations in the values of currencies, the IMF has been strengthening its supervision of members' economic policies.
Provisions exist in its Articles of Agreement that would allow the IMF to adopt a more active role, should the world community decide on stricter management of flexible exchange rates or even on a return to some system of stable exchange rates.
Measuring the success of the IMF's operations over the years is not easy, for much of the IMF's work consists in averting financial crises or in preventing their becoming worse. Most observers feel that merely to have contained the debt crisis of the s, which posed the risk of collapse in the world's financial system, must be counted a success for the IMF.
The Fund has also gained some recognition for assisting in setting up market-based economies in the countries of the former Soviet Union and for responding swiftly to the Mexican peso crisis inbut its main contribution lies in its unobrusive, day-to-day encouragement of confidence in the international system. Nowhere will you find a bridge or a hospital built by the IMF, but the next time you buy a Japanese camera or drive a foreign car, or without difficulty exchange dollars or pounds for another currency while on holiday, you will be benefiting from the vast increase in foreign trade over the past 50 years and the widespread currency convertibility that would have been unimaginable without the world monetary system that the IMF was created to maintain.
This cooperation, present since their founding, has become more pronounced since the s. The government then identifies the country's priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly. While wealthier nations sometimes fund their own aid projects, including those for diseases, and although IDA is the recipient of criticism, Robert B.
Zoellick, the former president of the World Bank, said when the loans were announced on 15 Decemberthat IDA money "is the core funding that the poorest developing countries rely on". The grant beneficiaries are social enterprises with projects that aim to deliver a range of social and public services to the most underserved low-income groups.
Global partnerships and initiatives[ edit ] The World Bank has been assigned temporary management responsibility of the Clean Technology Fund CTFfocused on making renewable energy cost-competitive with coal-fired power as quickly as possible, but this may not continue after UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in Decemberbecause of the Bank's continued investment in coal-fired power plants.
Partners work together to put international principles for aid effectiveness and development cooperation into practice in the health sector.
Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.
No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change. The planet is now 0.
Food security Global Food Security Program: To date, the program has helped 8 countries, promoting agriculture, research, trade in agriculture, etc. Given grants to approximately 40 nations for seeds, etc. Runs several nutrition program across the world, e.
WBI's work program includes training, policy consultations, and the creation and support of knowledge networks related to international economic and social development. It aims to inspire change agents and prepare them with essential tools that can help achieve development results. WBI has four major strategies to approach development problems: The purpose of the institute was to serve as provide an open place where senior officials from developing countries could discuss development policies and programs.