IMF: A Big Enough Safety Net?


By Reza Moghadam

As the financial crisis pulled the rug from under the emerging markets, analysts and policymakers alike began to question the adequacy of Fund resources.  This worry was neither new nor surprising. For decades, private international capital flows had grown at a much faster rate than those of the IMF, rendering our institution too small to be able to deal with systemic crises. 

As one country after another approached the Fund for financial assistance, it become clear that the international community needed to act decisively. Thus in April, the leaders of the G-20 industrial and emerging market countries, supported by the entire IMF membership, called for a tripling of the IMF’s lending resources from $250 billion to $750 billion. By early September, individual country pledges, including from many non-G20 countries, had reached the promised $500 billion in contingent resources that could be called by the Fund if needed. 

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