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Niels Thygesen

What will be the role of the IMF vis-à-vis the countries that join the third stage of EMU in 1999 or later? This is the important and challenging question that the organizers have put to Jacques Polak and me. There is currently a very limited basis in official documents for answering the question. The likely candidates for participation in the initial group in EMU have been preoccupied with the internal workings of monetary union, and the January 1997 report by the EMI on monetary strategies and instruments in Stage III, EMI (1997a) , does not discuss

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

we be more proactive in generating requests that fit into the general work program of the IMF vis-à-vis the country? Another working group is analyzing the issue of delivery. We typically deliver technical assistance through two or three channels: missions and the assignment of short-term and longer-term experts. Is the current blend adequate? For example, should we rely less on longer-term experts and more on a series of missions to initiate and sustain a reform effort? Also, how can we best leverage the resources of other technical assistance providers to make

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office


Trade policy occupies an unusual and at times problematic place in the work of the IMF. Though trade policies of IMF members have strong influences on macroeconomic stability, they are often seen as peripheral to the IMF’s core competency. This evaluation, which examines the IMF’s involvement in trade policy issues during 1996–2007, addresses five questions. What is the nature of the IMF’s mandate to cover trade policy? Did the IMF work effectively with other international organizations on trade policy issues? Did the Executive Board provide clear guidance to staff on the IMF’s role and approach to trade policy? How well did the IMF address trade policy issues through lending arrangements and surveillance? Was IMF advice effective? The evaluation finds that the IMF’s role in trade policy has evolved in some desirable and some less desirable ways and recommends how to use the limited resources the IMF can devote to trade policy to fill these gaps.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

interpretation of the purpose and responsibility of the IMF vis-à-vis international trade policy has evolved. Joseph Gold (Legal Counsel during 1946–79) held that, while the IMF has no regulatory authority over trade practices, its “soft” responsibility encompasses policies that encourage or ease the expansion of international trade. In surveillance, the IMF sees this responsibility as requiring attention to trade policies in both a passive mode (considering restrictive trade policies as an indication of the inappropriateness of a country’s exchange rate and a vulnerability to

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

protect critical nonwage inputs (school supplies, school feeding programs, vaccines, and other critical medical inputs in basic health care), the impact could be much higher. Role of the IMF in Connection with Social Expenditure and Social Protection The role of the IMF vis-á-vis social spending has evolved as a result of a number of guidelines issued at different times. In 1991 the Managing Director issued guidelines to IMF staff directing that they should be explicitly concerned with the effects of economic policies on the poor and should discuss these

Mr. Subhash Madhav Thakur

.1 247.1 1991 91.1 255.6 1992 91.2 262.2 1993 a 91.2 268.9 a Quotas were raised by 50 percent under the Ninth General Review. This would be a potentially important gain. The erosion of IMF quotas by inflation has been a recurring issue. For example, Polak ( 1984 , pp. 252–53), in discussing the declining role of the IMF vis-à-vis the commercial banks in financing for developing countries, noted that “inflation, and quota increases that did not take adequate account of inflation had, by the middle seventies, reduced at

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Following are edited remarks by Stanley Fischer, the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director, at the Argentine Bankers Association Meeting in Buenos Aires on June 25. The full text of his speaking notes is available on the IMF’s website at
Moisés J. Schwartz and Shinji Takagi

–15 Sources: IMF, WEO (October 2015) and Ireland—Fourth Post—Program Monitoring Discussions (EBS/15/152). This chapter assesses the role played by the IMF vis-à-vis Ireland during the decade and a half from 2000 onwards. It is a story of a relationship involving two distinctly different phases. The first section of the chapter critically evaluates the workings of Fund surveillance during the pre-crisis years. The Fund—together with nearly all other external and domestic observers—did not adequately identify the underlying vulnerabilities that led to the massive

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper focuses on the payments system reforms and monetary policy in emerging market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. The reforms in the payments system are viewed as closely interrelated with the development of money and foreign exchange markets and the instruments of monetary policy used by the central banks. The paper shows that although starting from similar origins, there were significant variations in experiences of the countries studied in transforming their payments systems after the start of the reforms toward a market economy, from which certain lessons can be drawn.