International Monetary Fund, the IMF (International Monetary Fund, IMF) - a specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters in Washington, DC, USA.
At the Bretton Woods conference of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Affairs July 22, 1944 was to develop a framework agreement (Charter of the IMF). The most significant contribution to the development of the concept of the IMF made by John Maynard Keynes, who led the British delegation, and Harry Dexter White - a senior official of the US Treasury. The final version of the agreement the first 22 states signed December 27, 1945 - the official date of the creation of the IMF. IMF began operations March 1, 1947 as part of the Bretton Woods system. In the same year, France took the first loan. The IMF now unites 188 countries in its structures and working 2,500 from 133 countries.
The IMF provides short-term and medium-term loans with a deficit of the balance of payments of the state. Providing loans are usually accompanied by a set of conditions and recommendations aimed at improving the situation.
IMF policies and recommendations for developing countries have been criticized, the essence of which is that the implementation of the recommendations and conditions ultimately aimed not at improving the independence, stability and development of the national economy of the state, but only on tying it to the international financial flows.
Among the directors were: Spanish, Dutch, German, Swedish 2, 6 French.
The official purpose of the IMF:
"To promote international cooperation in the monetary sphere";
"Facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade" for the development of productive resources, to achieve high levels of employment and real income of Member States;
"Ensure the stability of currencies, maintain orderly relations currency area among Member States" and avoid "the depreciation of currencies in order to gain a competitive advantage";
assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of settlements between Member States, as well as in the elimination of foreign exchange restrictions;
provide temporary Member States in foreign currency, which would give them the opportunity to "correct imbalances in their balance of payments."
The main functions of the IMF:
- To promote international cooperation in monetary policy
- Expansion of world trade
- Stabilization of the monetary exchange rate
- Advising the debtor country (debtors)
- Development of the standards of international financial statistics
- Collection and publication of International Financial Statistics
The supreme governing body of the IMF - the Board of Governors (Board of Governors), in which each member country is represented by the manager and his deputy. Usually it is the finance ministers and central bankers. In the conduct of the Board is to address the key issues of the Fund: changes to the Articles of Agreement, the reception and the exclusion of the member countries, the definition and review of their shares in the election of Executive Directors. Directors shall meet in session, usually once a year but can meet and vote by mail at any time.
The authorized capital amounts to about 217 billion SDR (as of January 2008, 1 SDR was approximately 1.5 US dollar). Formed by contributions from Member States, each of which usually pays about 25% of its quota in SDRs or in the currency of the other members, while the remaining 75% - in their national currency. Given the size of the quota allocated to vote among the member countries in the governing bodies of the IMF.
The Executive Board, which sets policy and is responsible for most decisions, consists of 24 Executive Directors. Directors are appointed by the eight countries with the largest quotas in the Fund - the United States, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The remaining 176 countries are organized into 16 groups, each of which selects the executive director. An example of this group of countries can serve as a union of countries of the former Soviet Central Asian republics under the leadership of Switzerland, which was called Gelvetistan. Often, groups are formed countries with similar interests and usually from the same region, such as the French-speaking African countries.
The largest number of votes in the IMF (as of 16 June 2006) have: USA - 17.08% (16.407% - 2011); Germany - 5.99%; Japan - 6.13% (6.46% - 2011); United Kingdom - 4.95%; France - 4.95%; Saudi Arabia - 3.22%; China - 2.94% (6.394% - 2011); Russia - 2.74%. The share of the 15 countries participating in the EU - 30.3%, 29 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have in aggregate 60.35% of the votes in the IMF. The remaining countries that make up more than 84% of the number of members of the Fund, accounting for only 39.65%.
In the IMF, the principle of "weighted" number of votes: the ability of member countries to have an impact on the activities of the Fund is determined by voting their shares in its capital. Each state has 250 "basic" votes, regardless of the value of its capital contribution and an additional one vote for every 100 thousand. SDR amount of the contribution. In that case, if the country is to buy (sell) SDR her in the primary issue of SDRs, the number of votes it increases (decreases) by 1 for every 400 thousand. Bought (sold) SDRs. This correction is carried out not more than 1/4 of the number of votes received for the countries' contributions to the Fund's capital. This procedure provides a decisive majority of votes leading states.
Decisions of the Board of Governors are usually made by a simple majority (at least half) of the votes, and on important matters of operational or strategic nature - a "special majority" (70 or 85% of the votes of Members). Despite a slight reduction in the proportion of votes the US and the EU, they are still able to veto key decisions of the Fund, the adoption of which requires maximum majority (85%). This means that the US, together with the leading Western states have the ability to exercise control over the decision-making process at the IMF and guide its activities based on their interests. In the presence of coordinated action by developing countries are also able to avoid making are not satisfied with their decisions. However, to achieve consistency of a large number of heterogeneous countries difficult. At the meeting of the Fund in April 2004, it was the intention "to expand the capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to participate more effectively in the decision-making mechanism in the IMF."
A significant role in the organizational structure of the IMF plays International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC; International Monetary and Financial Committee). C 1974 to September 1999 by his predecessor was the Interim Committee on the International Monetary System. It consists of 24 Governors of the IMF, including from Russia, and hold its sessions twice a year. This committee is an advisory body of the Governing Council and has no authority to make policy decisions. Nevertheless, it performs important functions: guides the activities of the Executive Board; develops strategic decisions relating to the functioning of the world monetary system, the IMF; the Governing Council proposals for amendments to the Articles of Agreement of the IMF. Such a role is also played by the Development Committee - Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Fund and the World Bank (Joint IMF - World Bank Development Committee).
The Board of Governors has delegated many of its powers to the Executive Board (Executive Board), ie Directorate, which is responsible for conducting the business of the IMF, including a wide range of policy, operational and administrative issues, in particular the provision of loans to member countries and the supervision of their exchange rate policy .
IMF Executive Board selects a term of five years Managing Director (Managing Director), who heads the staff of the Fund (March 2009 - about 2478 people from 143 countries). As a rule, it is one of the European countries. Managing Director (since July 5, 2011) - Christine Lagarde (France), its first deputy - John Lipsky (USA).
The main credit facilities:
1. Back-up share. The first portion of foreign currency, which Members may purchase the IMF within the 25% quota was called up to the Jamaica Agreement "gold", since 1978 - the backup share (Reserve Tranche). Reserve share is defined as the excess of the value of the quota of a Member of the amounts standing to the credit of the Fund of the national currency of the country. If the IMF uses part of the national currency of the Member to provide loans to other countries, the share of a country Reserve increases accordingly. The outstanding amount of loans granted by a Member to the Fund under loan agreements NHS and NHS, forms its credit position. Reserve share and credit position, together constitute the "reserve position" of the country - a member of the IMF.
2. Credit shares. In foreign currency, which can be purchased by the Member in excess of reserve tranche (in the case of full utilization of its holdings in the currency of the IMF reached 100% of quota), are divided into four credit share or tranche (Credit Tranches), constituting 25% of the quota . Members have access to credit in the framework of the IMF loan shares were limited amount of currency of the country in the assets of the IMF can not exceed 200% of its quota (including the 75% quota made by subscription). Thus, the maximum loan amount that a country can be obtained from the Fund as a result of the use of the reserve and credit of shares is 125% of its quota. However, the statute gives the IMF the right to suspend this limitation. On this basis, the Fund's resources are used in many cases in excess of the limit enshrined in the Constitution. Therefore, the concept of "top credit share» (Upper Credit Tranches) has come to mean not only 75% of the quota, as in the early days of the IMF, and the amounts that exceed the first credit share.
3. Arrangements for reserve credits SBA (Stand-by Arrangements) (since 1952) a member country guarantee that within a certain amount and for the term of the agreement, subject to specified conditions, the country is free to earn foreign exchange from IMF in exchange for national. This practice of lending represents a credit line. If the use of the first share of the credit may be carried out in the form of direct purchase of foreign currency by the Fund after the approval of its request, the allocation of funds on account of higher share of credit is usually carried out by means of agreements with member countries of the reserve credits. From 50th to mid 70s agreement on SBA loans have up to a year since 1977 - up to 18 months or even up to 3 years due to the increased current account deficit.
4. Extended Fund Facility (Extended Fund Facility) (1974) added a backup and share credit. It is designed to provide loans for longer periods and on a large scale in relation to the quotas than in the ordinary shares of the credit. The basis for the treatment of the country to the IMF for a loan under the Extended Fund Facility is a serious imbalance of the balance of payments caused by adverse structural changes in production, trade and prices. Advanced loans are usually provided for three years, if necessary - up to four years in certain portions (tranches) at fixed intervals - every six months, quarterly, or (in some cases) per month. The main purpose of SBA loans and credit expansion is to assist countries - members of the IMF in the implementation of macroeconomic stabilization programs and structural reforms. Fund requires country - borrowing perform certain conditions, with the degree of hardness increases as we move from one share to another credit. Certain conditions must be met to obtain a loan. Commitments borrowing country, provide for its appropriate financial and economic activities are recorded in the "Letter of Intent» (Letter of intent) or Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies), sent to the IMF. The implementation of commitments the country - the recipient of the loan is monitored by periodic assessment of the agreement provided for special target performance criteria (Performance criteria). These criteria can be either quantitative, relating to certain macroeconomic indicators, or structural, reflecting institutional changes. If the IMF considers that the country uses the loan in conflict with the goals of the Fund does not fulfill its obligations, it may limit its loans, refuse to grant the next tranche. Thus, this mechanism allows the IMF to put economic pressure on the country - borrowing.
Unlike the World Bank, the IMF focuses on a relatively short-term macroeconomic crises. The World Bank provides loans only to poor countries, the IMF can lend any of its member countries, which is experiencing a shortage of foreign currency to cover short-term financial obligations.
IMF (and the World Bank) is often criticized various scientists and politicians. There are many reasons, but most often mention the pro-American nature of the action and the inefficiency of its recommendations to exit the crisis.
Keep in mind that a voice in decisions about the actions of the Fund are distributed in proportion to the contributions. For approval of the decision of the Fund must be 85% of the vote. The US has about 17% of all votes. That's not enough for independent decision-making, but allows you to block any decision of the Fund. US Senate can pass a bill banning the International Monetary Fund to perform certain actions, such as allocate loans to countries. As pointed out by Chinese economist Professor Shi Jiangxiong, redistribution of quotas does not alter the basic framework of the organization and the balance of power in it, the share of the United States remains the same, they have veto power: "The United States, as before, run by the order of the IMF."
The IMF provides loans to the nomination of a number of requirements - the freedom of movement of capital, privatization (including natural monopolies - the railway transportation and utilities), minimizing or even eliminating government spending on social programs - education, health care, cheaper housing, public transport and so on. n .; refusal of protection of the environment; wage cuts, the restriction of workers' rights; increased tax burden on the poor, and so on. n.
Michel Chossudovsky according to:
"IMF-sponsored program since consistently continued destruction of the industrial sector and gradually dismantled the Yugoslav state" welfare. "Restructuring agreements increased foreign debt and provided the mandate for the devaluation of the Yugoslav currency, which has been hit hard by the level of life of Yugoslavia. This initial round of restructuring laid its foundations. During the 1980s, the IMF periodically prescribed further doses of its bitter "economic therapy", while the Yugoslav economy slowly lapsed into a coma. Industrial production has come down to 10 percent drop by 1990 - with all the predictable social consequences. "
Most of the loans to the IMF Yugoslavia in the 80s, went to service the debt and the problems caused by the implementation of IMF prescriptions. Fund forced Yugoslavia to stop the economic alignment regions that led to the growth of separatism and subsequent civil war that killed 600 thousand. Man.
In 1989, the IMF gave Rwanda a loan on the condition that the government will no longer provide support to farmers (which is the norm in many countries, including the United States) and hold a devaluation of the local currency. This triggered a collapse of income and, as a consequence, a bloody civil war between Hutus and Tutsis, which killed more than half a million people.
In the 80s due to a sharp drop in oil prices collapsed the Mexican economy. IMF began to act: loans were given in exchange for a large-scale privatization, cuts in public spending, and so on. N. Up to 57% of public expenditure was spent on debt repayment. As a result, the country spent about $ 45 billion. Unemployment reached 40% of the economically active population. The country was forced to join the NAFTA and to provide enormous benefits to American corporations. Income Mexican workers plummeted.
As a result of reforms, Mexico - a country where corn was first domesticated - became its import. Was completely destroyed by a support system of Mexican farmers.