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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

An image of money, to illustrate the proposal for special drawing rights

New SDRs? That Pesky 85 Percent Approval

Last week Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sent a letter signed by hundreds of lawmakers from 40 countries to the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, urging them to greatly increase the access of developing countries to financial assistance. They called for a new issue of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) at the IMF, echoing the earlier plea of Gordon Brown and Larry Summers for at least $1 trillion in new SDRs.

The IMF on Protecting the Poor during Fiscal “Consolidations”: Better Late Than Never

Inequality and inclusive growth were high on the agenda of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank earlier this month. We are glad about that, but the under-reported story here is that this prominence marks a dramatic shift in the IMF over the last two decades in the IMF’s approach to the relevant challenges for the poorest countries, including on the issue of social safety nets and social expenditures.

The Time Is Right for Expanding the Use of the IMF’s Precautionary Credit Lines

Many emerging economies could benefit from insurance against this backdrop of volatility. Fortunately, cheap and no-strings-attached liquidity insurance exists, in the form of the IMF’s Flexible Credit Line (FCL) for countries with very strong policy fundamentals; for countries with somewhat weaker, but still sound fundamentals, the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) offers a similarly good deal. But these precautionary instruments remain underutilized. We have some suggestions on how the IMF could fix this.

Huh? Stalled IMF Package Would Help Ukraine More Than Ukraine Legislation Will Help Ukraine

Here’s a fact about the IMF reform package, agreed in 2010 in a negotiation led by the United States and since approved by 158 countries, but (embarrassingly and cavalierly) stalled in the US Congress: It would increase Ukraine’s access to IMF resources to deal with its financial troubles by more than twice the special $1 billion of loan guarantees for Ukraine that the Obama Administration has proposed to the Congress — and potentially almost six times as much — at virtually no cost to US taxpayers. 

I'm Embarrassed

USA Commits Own-Goal on the IMF

I'm an American citizen.  I'm embarrassed.  The US Congress again has failed to include in the omnibus budget bill finally passed by the House (and now going to the Senate) the trivial amount needed for the United States to finally approve critical changes at the IMF: a doubling of its resources and reform of its antiquated governance. 

A Missed Opportunity for Sensible US Action on IMF—And Why It Matters

This week Senate appropriators failed to include an OK for an International Monetary Fund quota increase in the Senate version of the continuing resolution—the spending bill to keep open the US government for the remaining six months of the fiscal year 2013. The administration had requested Senate appropriators approve a transfer of previous US commitments from one IMF account to another -- a transfer involving virtually no cost for US taxpayers.

Flailing IMF? Who Is Really to Blame?

Last week our CGD and Peterson Institute colleague Arvind Subramanian called on the IMF to speak truth to power, in an elegant cri de coeur in the Financial Times. The IMF, he notes: “has not provided independent intellectual leadership, most evidently on the eurozone crisis. And it is unprepared to provide stability for the next big global crisis.”

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