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Roger Nord April 26, 2010 Responding to the Global Crisis – The IMF’s Role in Low-income Countries and its Dialogue with Parliamentarians.

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Presentation on theme: "Roger Nord April 26, 2010 Responding to the Global Crisis – The IMF’s Role in Low-income Countries and its Dialogue with Parliamentarians."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roger Nord April 26, 2010 Responding to the Global Crisis – The IMF’s Role in Low-income Countries and its Dialogue with Parliamentarians

2 Outline 2 What is the IMF – Basic Overview ? How have LICs fared during the crisis?  Hard hit, but better prepared  “Keynesian” response– a first for LICs  Debt remains manageable for most How did the IMF respond?  Sharply scaled-up and flexible financial support  Comprehensive facilities reform  Conditionality, debt policies more flexible The IMF’s Dialogue with Parliamentarians

3 Some Basics on the IMF Founded in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire 3 Mandate: Promote global financial stability Exchange Rate Stability (balanced growth of trade) Forum for international monetary cooperation Temporary financial assistance to members experiencing balance of payments difficulties Goal: Avoid harmful policies & protectionism of 1930s and rebuild confidence in multilateral cooperation Main Functions: Surveillance – Lending – Technical Assistance Fast Facts: Membership: 186 countries Executive Board: 24 Directors representing countries or groups of countries Staff: approximately 2,360 from 146 countries Total quotas: US$333 billion Additional pledged or committed resources: $600 billion Loans committed: US$191 billion, of which US$121 billion have not been drawn (FCL) Surveillance consultations: Concluded in 2008—177 countries in 2008, of which 155 voluntarily published information

4 IMF Accountability The IMF is accountable to the governments of its 186 member countries through the Board of Governors One governor from each member country (meets once a year) International Monetary and Financial Committee 24 governors and advises the Board of Governors (meets twice a year) Executive Board 24 members conduct day-to-day business of IMF (meets three times a week) 4

5 Governance Reforms Key to IMF Legitimacy April 2008 reforms need to be put in place – ratification still needed in many countries Once implemented, 54 members will receive an increase in their quotas, including China, India, Brazil and Mexico. G-20 called for further improving representation for emerging and developing countries by January 2011 (at least 5% shift in quotas from most over to underrepresented countries) 5

6 IMF Resources Main resources – quota subscriptions of member countries IMF quotas are based on relative size of a country’s economy Quotas determine access to borrowing and voting power. Total IMF quotas: US$333 billion (as of end-February 2010) Lending capacity tripled to about US$750 billion in April 2009 SDR allocation of about US$250 billion in August 2009, of which US$100 billion to emerging market and developing economies 6

7 PART II 7 How Have LICs Fared During the Crisis?

8 Global Crisis hit LICs hard 8 Transmission channels  Exports, remittances, FDI  Not much through financial markets Growth dipped more sharply than in previous crises, but:  From higher pre-crisis level  Big differences across countries  Expectation of robust, synchronized recovery in 2010

9 Crises Past and Present—Growth 9

10 “Keynesian” policy response—a first for LICs 10 Most LICs went into crisis better prepared:  Sustained macro stability  Stronger institutions  Created room for countercyclical policy responses à la Keynes IMF supported larger fiscal deficits as part of global fiscal stimulus  Two-thirds of African Countries pursued counter-cyclical policies  Health and education spending increased in 20 out of of 29 African LICs

11 Pre-Crisis Position Much Stronger 11

12 Debt and Inflation Down 12

13 “Keynesian” fiscal policy response 13

14 PART III 14 How Has the IMF responded?

15 Sharply Scaled-up Financial Support 15 2009: IMF concessional assistance at $3.8 billion (historical: $1bn) Concessional lending capacity doubled, to $17 bn through 2014/15 Financed partly by gold sales SDR allocation Zero interest on all concessional credit Support of countercyclical programs

16 IMF financial support sharply higher 16

17 17

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19 Comprehensive 2009 Reform 19 Three tailored facilities under Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) to meet diverse LIC needs:  ECF – medium-term support  SCF – short-term (and precautionary) support  RCF – emergency support Access to financing doubled Zero interest through end-2011 Permanently higher concessionality More flexible conditionality

20 Going Forward: Managing Volatility 20 LICs more exposed to economic shocks, natural disasters than others Exposure will grow further with global integration and climate change LICs generally under-insured But cost of holding reserves high Need (i) policy buffers and (ii) concessional shocks support

21 How to re-build policy buffers? 21 First, do no harm: avoid premature or overly rapid fiscal tightening Then, strengthen fiscal positions: focus on revenue growth; protect social spending and high-return investment Balance debt-creating capital inflows with developing local savings and financial sectors

22 Investing for growth 22 Massive infrastructure deficit, esp. in Africa  key growth bottleneck LIC governments rightly keen to scale up public investment But quality critical Can traditional donors deliver finance? Concessionality versus scale Realistically, huge investment needs will require nonconcessional credit

23 PART IV 23 The IMF’s Dialogue with Parliamentarians

24 More Accountability Through Transparency and Outreach National Governments IMF Parliaments People/Civil Society 24

25 IMF Outreach Public outreach integral part of IMF’s country work, and the dialogue with legislators plays an important part The IMF must speak frequently and clearly to key groups and stakeholders about the work it does Parliamentarians are key interlocutors 25

26 Dialogue with Parliamentarians WHY? Important role in economic decision-making, incl. budget process Oversight over the Executive for economic and financial policies Public forum for debate HOW? Ongoing two-way dialogue: Bring outside views into the building – inform parliamentarians of IMF policies and activities RESOURCES? IMF website for legislators ( and interactive discussion 26

27 Greater Accountability Through Dialogue 27 Country level engagement: integral part of country missions; country-level seminars Regional level engagement: regional seminars – in Africa; Europe at Joint Vienna Institute International level engagement: PNoWB, IPU, GOPAC, CPA – joint event and conferences


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