The financial insurance scheme known as the IMF has not kept up with the volume of capital flooding through the world's system. Sebastian Mallaby argues that it is time to radically update this insurance scheme and that government commitments to the IMF should be tripled.
This weekend's summit of leading world economies won't match the scope of the Bretton Woods conference, to which it has been compared. But it could send important signals at a time of global economic distress.
This special report examines the potential adaptations of the International Monetary Fund to the global financial crisis, calling this "an ideal stage for the IMF to reaffirm its position as a pivotal institution in bringing together information and analysis on a global scale, and in trying to console the diverging interests of its member states."
In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Sebastian Mallaby writes that persuading China to change its currency policy would be a worthy goal for a 21st-Century Bretton Woods. It will be up to the two great powers -- the U.S. and China -- to fashion a deal that brings China into the heart of the multilateral system.
The Financial Times' Martin Wolf argues that massive accumulations of currency reserves enabled housing bubbles in developed economies and sparked the current financial crisis. The shakeout, Wolf says, could take years.
The Europeans have pressed successfully for a new Bretton Woods summit in response to the global financial crisis, but the Bretton Woods analogy is contrived. Sebastian Mallaby argues that while there is a role for global cooperation, it is worth remembering that after the last global crisis in 1997-98, the only important reforms were national ones.
The International Monetary Fund’s legitimacy and status must be strengthened now so that it can be an effective manager when the next global crisis breaks out, urges a new Council Special Report. “Economic and financial conditions can change with alarming speed, and crises are bound to recur,” warns report author and Council Senior Fellow Peter Kenen, a renowned economist. “It would be far harder to reform the Fund in the midst of a new crisis than to do so now. It is easier to modernize a fire brigade when there are few fires than in the midst of a major conflagration.”
With IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato resigning in October, a new report analyzes the reform measures that will be bequeathed to Mr. de Rato's successor, and argues that the reform measures deserve the support of the United States, including the U.S. Congress when it is asked to implement some of the key measures.
An external report commissioned by the IMF in response to criticsm of its reporting on Argentina finds an influential 2004 IEO report had toned down criticisms of IMF staff and focused on the mistakes of Argentine authorities.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.