Monday, May 4, 2015

Comprehensive Update on the Status of IMF Reforms

There have been a lot articles recently related to the status of the stalled IMF reforms. Most are quoting officials who want the reforms passed. One is critical of the currently proposed reforms and suggests the IMF should start over.

Below are links to several of these articles with a brief summary of each just below its link.


IMF's Plan B for Stalled Reform

Discusses two possible plans the IMF might use to move forward on the reforms.

It's Time for Real IMF Reform

Former IMF Desmond Lachman says the IMF should scrap the current proposed reforms
and start over from scratch with a new plan the US can approve.

"Recognition of post-2010 developments would suggest that the IMF should go back to the drawing board on its proposed reforms. A new IMF reform package might still seek to increase the relative voice of the key emerging market economies in the IMF's governance structure. However, this should not be achieved through an increase in the IMF's lending capacity. Indeed, there is the strongest of cases that the IMF's "exceptional access" lending policy be terminated and that the IMF return to its original role of a catalytic lender. Such a reform package would offer the IMF a very much better chance of getting the U.S. Congress on board than the package currently on the table."

IMF Reforms - Issues for Congress

This is an in depth work paper that covers the pros and cons of the reforms prepared for members of the US Congress. This is one of the best detailed reports I have seen on this.

G20 Discusses Plan to Sidestep US on IMF Reforms

This article talks about frustration at the last G20 meeting about how to move forward on the reforms. It notes the G20 failed to reach an agreement on how to move forward.

"The "ad hoc" interim plan made it into a draft communique by the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, but it was dropped from the final version after officials failed to come to an agreement."

Reforming the IMF 

This is an article in the Arab News suggesting ways to move forward on the reforms.

"In our view, the best way forward would be to decouple the part of the reforms that requires ratification by the US Congress from the rest of the package. Only one major element — the decision to move toward an all-elected Executive Board — requires an amendment to the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and thus congressional approval."

Would China Have Launced the AIIB if Congress had approved the IMF Reforms?

This article says the answer is yes and explains why. 

"Does anyone really believe that China would have shelved its newly launched, $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) if Congress had approved the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “Reform Package” negotiated by the Obama Administration in 2010?
That’s what proponents of the IMF reforms would have you believe as they fired off a new round of high-powered salvos aimed at embarrassing congressional opposition to their desire to nearly double regular IMF lending.
In what can only be termed fear-mongering, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told Congress last month that the U.S. is “losing clout at the International Monetary Fund” and that “Congress is undermining U.S. economic and national-security interests by failing to approve a five-year-old international deal for major governance overhauls at the IMF.”

China Frustrated by delayed reforms to increase its say at IMF

The headline above says it all for this article.

"Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said China was "more than frustrated" with the long delay in a 2010 reform package to increase China's say at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"[We] are upset and deeply disappointed by the current progress in regard to the reform of the shareholding system in the IMF," China News Service quoted Zhou as saying on Sunday."
My added comments:

In case you had any doubts, the above list shows that this is a key issue related to monetary system change that we are following here. It clearly matters to a lot of important people what happens with this issue.

Recently in Dallas, Jim Rickards said that the White House is actually slow playing this issue in order to extract more concessions from China about opening up its markets and letting its currency float more freely. By year end, we should find out what is going to happen. Perhaps sooner.

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