In Chapter 2 of this year’s Annual Report, the Executive Directors have pointed out that world reserves, which consist of official holdings of gold, foreign exchange, and reserve positions in the Fund, have declined by over 50 per cent relative to world trade since the early 1950’s; relative to international transactions the decline would have been even steeper. After 1964 reserve growth became much less rapid than in earlier years; indeed, reserves would have shown a decline not merely in relative but in absolute terms, owing mainly to gold hoarding, had it not been for the creation of reserves as a by-product of the use of Fund credit facilities, swap arrangements, and other international credit facilities.