International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world."[1] Formed in 1944, started on 27 December 1945,[9] at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes,[10] it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international monetary system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises.[11] Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion (about US$667 billion).[9] The IMF is regarded as the global lender of last resort.

International Monetary Fund
Formation27 December 1945; 76 years ago (1945-12-27)
TypeInternational financial institution
PurposePromote international monetary co-operation, facilitate international trade, foster sustainable economic growth, make resources available to members experiencing balance of payments difficulties, prevent and assist with recovery from international financial crises[1]
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Coordinates38°53′56″N 77°2′39″W
190 countries (189 UN countries and Kosovo)[2]
Official language
Managing Director
Kristalina Georgieva
First Deputy Managing Director
Gita Gopinath[4]
Chief Economist
Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas[5]
Main organ
Board of Governors
Parent organization
 United Nations[6][7]
Budget (2022)
$1.2 billion USD[8]

Through the fund and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies, and the demand for particular policies,[12] the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.[13] The organization's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are:[14] to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty.[15] IMF funds come from two major sources: quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds. The size of a member's quota depends on its economic and financial importance in the world. Nations with greater economic significance have larger quotas. The quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources in the form of special drawing rights.[16]

The current managing director (MD) and Chairwoman of the IMF is Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva, who has held the post since October 1, 2019.[17] Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath, who previously served as Chief Economist, was appointed as First Deputy Managing Director, effective January 21, 2022.[18] Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas replaced Gopinath as Chief Economist on January 24, 2022.[19]

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