The global economic crisis and the IMF

To what extent does the planetary economic crisis represent a challenge to the IMF?


The planetary economic crisis, which aggravated with the downswing of sub-prime lodging market in the United States, has caused profoundly and widely significant economic breaks in both the developed and developing states around the universe. During this planetary economic perturbation, the economic recession, diminution of the economic growing and increasing unemployment rate, acted as a trial for International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) . The map of IMF is as cardinal international establishment for pull offing planetary pecuniary system. After the happening of the world-wide economic crisis, there are many unfavorable judgments that the IMF did non play its function suitably and need to move positively to chair the terrible crisis. This economic crisis revealed many of the cardinal loopholes every bit good as failing of world-wide fiscal system ( Weiss & A ; Sanford, 2009 ) . Therefore, it is undoubted that the planetary economic crisis acted as cardinal challenges for the IMF.

This essay aims to analyze the challenges for the IMF in the planetary economic crisis. First, it will get down with the background including the impact of the planetary economic crisis and the function of the IMF. Then, it will show how the world-wide economic crisis posed a big challenge to the IMF.


The impact of the Global Economic Crisis

What began as a bursting of the U.S. lodging market bubble and a rise in foreclosures has ballooned into a planetary fiscal and economic crisis. The large-scale economic crisis started in 2007, at the get downing it was thought that this fiscal crisis would merely be act uponing the developed states and their economic systems, but subsequently this was rather seeable that this crisis has adversely affected many of the developing states and emerging markets. Consequently, those states which suffered from the crisis found that this crisis affected to their economic systems by decelerating down their economic growing, trade and decrease in capital flow ensuing into the addition of unemployment degree.

The cardinal cause of the current economic convulsion was the immense graduated table of adoption by the US authorities, financed in big portion by China and other emerging states dying to buy US securities to construct their militias. The security provided by this demand for dollars allowed the US authorities to keep low involvement rates, fuelling the black private-sector adoption bubble. ( Chowla et al. , 2009 ) However, the state of affairs worsened quickly after the sudden detonation of the fiscal crisis in September 2008, displacing the default by big U.S investing bank ( Lehman Brothers ) , the emancipation of the largest U.S insurance company ( AIG, American International group ) and invasion in a scope of other establishments in the U.S and Europe country. The deleveraging force per unit areas generated recognition crunch and a breakdown of securitization engineering has affected even the powerful private borrowers.

Due to the explosion of the lodging bubble, a big figure of the troubled assets held in the custodies of many fiscal establishments besides resulted in immense loss or bankruptcy of these establishments. Banks became disquieted about the recognition hazard of other Bankss or companies, and decreased the liquidness of the markets. Therefore, non merely the fiscal establishments but besides other industries such as automotive besides can non borrow money from Bankss to go on their operations ( Bernanke et al. , 1991 ) . In bends, many concerns in different industries which had problem in keeping their day-to-day operations begin to put off employees, to last. Then, the assets of people reduced every bit good as the monetary value of their house became less than the mortgage. Hence, people had less money and were unwilling to devour the goods in the markets ( Hall and Woodward, 2008 ) . This state of affairs caused a barbarous rhythm where companies have less gross and fewer net incomes. The states went to the recession and besides affected other states ‘ export. As an consequence of diminution in trade, trade good monetary values besides fell aggressively in developing states ( Weiss & A ; Sanford, 2009 )

Finally, the crisis expanded to the planetary economic system. Some states started to be unable to keep their balance of payments or the stableness of their currencies. On the other manus, the crisis has besides uncovered simple failings in fiscal systems worldwide.

The function of the IMF

The IMF is an international pecuniary establishment established in July 1944 and since so its function has changed significantly. For the last three decennaries, drifting exchange rates and fiscal globalisation has provided wealth and growing to many states. The new function of the IMF became as a loaner to states affected by crisis and suffered in troubles by accommodating fixed exchange rate system. ( Weiss, 2008 ) . Furthermore, the IMF was charged with the keeping stable exchange rates. It was straight involved with developed states and provided them ‘need based ‘ short term loans to surge over impermanent currency instabilities ( Browne, 1994, p.57 ) .

In drumhead, the function of IMF is similar to the cardinal bank of the states, but the IMF stands in a planetary graduated table and devotes to assist its members to maintain reconciliation of payments and maintain the stableness of their foreign exchange rates. It is viz. that the IMF plays a critical function in the universe for stabilising its economic system and advancing the liquidness into the fiscal markets for its member states, they are largely developing or hapless states which suffered this planetary economic crisis. The major concern is the macroeconomic stableness and financial sustainability of member states has continued throughout.

The current operations and duties of IMF can be divided into three parts: surveillance, loaning and proficient aid. Surveillance, the bosom activity of the fund, involves economic system monitoring and fiscal developments along with policy reding. Lending refers to supplying fiscal support to states which are in trouble on balance of payments carry throughing with some specified set of conditions. Technical facet involves aid in bettering the quality and effectivity of policy devising. ( Weiss, 2008 )

The challenges for the IMF

Turning on to the impacts of the above discussed fiscal convulsion and the wider after affects on the economical conditions of states World Wide. The IMF is viewed as being the cardinal government centre to manage and back up the affected economic systems. As a function of the IMF, it was required to supply the resources and act as a Jesus for the affected states. However, it is doubtless that the current planetary fiscal convulsion represents a major challenge for the IMF.

Lake of the fiscal resource and the diminishing demand from the IMF

Current fiscal crisis came as a challenge for IMF itself, as their fiscal resources were non sufficient to get by with planetary economic system. Harmonizing to the study ( Weiss, 2008 ) , the entire fiscal resources of the IMF were $ 352 billion in August 2008 with $ 257 billion useable resources. The most the IMF Lent in any one twelvemonth period at the tallness of the Asiatic fiscal crisis was $ 30 billion. However, the IMF is entirely unequipped to supply the necessary liquidness by itself to the United States and other industrialised states that are affected in this economic crisis. Obviously, the IMF resources are considered non-usable to finance the operation of the IMF and to help its members. In add-on, the United States and other Western states which along with some Middle Eastern oil provinces are the major subscribers to the IMF resources. Hence, it is improbable that these states would look for the IMF support. It is a challenge for IMF to reconstitute its maps of loaning and to beef up its fund resources. However, “ The leaders of the G-20 states agreed in April 2009 that resources available to the IMF needed to be increased treble in order to cover with current universe fiscal crisis and the hazard that it might go even more serious in the hereafter ” ( Sanford & A ; Weiss, 2009:07 ) .

After the recent crisis, the demand on IMF on general resources has been dropped suddenly. Many of the member states have started affirmed their policy models in recent old ages utilizing the generous planetary liquidness in order to cut down exposures. In bends, it leads to the small demand on IMF ‘s funding for balance of payments. On the other manus, the Asiatic emerging economic systems and developed economic systems besides already started pooling through regional militias, and by utilizing fiscal agreements. After the East Asiatic fiscal crisis, many states have came to understand the executable manner to protect their economic system from assailing by the fiscal crisis is to seek aid from international communities. However, it has revealed that it is hard to accomplish trade understandings in planetary range in a short-run through the failures and suspension of several WTO ‘s ministerial meetings ( Baldwin, 2007 ) . Alternatively, many authoritiess start to see the cooperation with their regional neighbours ( Ravenhill, 2008 ) . As a consequence, for illustration, Association of Southeast Asiatic Nations ( ASEAN ) , China and some East Asiatic states have made understandings to assist each other as the demand arises ( Kawai, 2005 ) . In add-on, many emerging market economic sciences have build up the extended foreign modesty places in order to avoid holding to return to the IMF if such a crisis occurs once more. Furthermore, lifting trade good monetary values and big emerging market trade excesss fueled the foreign modesty accretion of the emerging market ( Weiss,2008 ) . Hence, the net foreign direct investing flows besides led to a lessening in demand for the IMF loaning. In consequence, those states would cut down the demand from the IMF and besides put the less part to the IMF resource. The influence of the IMF seems likely to be weakened, which is besides a possible challenge.

Other Financial Institutes emerged

When it comes to the Asiatic fiscal crisis in 1997, the IMF failed to supply the urgent, effectual deliverance plan to its member states. The IMF acted as supplying the prescriptions for the crisis states. However, the deliverance plan of IMF was non in favour of Asiatic states ( Korea, Indonesia and Thailand ) during this fiscal crisis and it resulted in economic instabilities and fiscal prostration in the Asiatic states.

The badness of crisis and the failure of the IMF in back uping states during crisis besides lead those states in the part to seek self-protecting mechanism. As a consequence, Japan proposed the constitution of Asiatic Monetary Fund ( AMF ) at the IMF Annual meeting in Hong Kong in 1997. ( Anas and Friawan, 2008 ) .

As Third World Network ( 2009 ) pointed out that “ though IMF was improbable to impart to the developed states most affected by the crisis, and it has to vie with other international fiscal establishments such as the Bank for International Settlements, Financial Stability Forum ( FSF ) , Asiatic Monetary Fund ( AMF ) ( beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: // ) , and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD ) as a beginning of planetary macroeconomic policy coordination every bit good as administration. ” These sorts of new emerging fiscal establishments from different parts coming into action and truly a menace for the position of the IMF. ( Oxford Analytica, 2008 ) .

Failed into the function of Surveillance

Apart from the above discussed issues, one of the most of import jobs that IMF faced was its deficiency in supplying proper surveillance. As mentioned already, the critical mission of the IMF is to move as a proctor for the world-wide economic state of affairs and supply the appropriate fiscal advice which depends on its cross-country experience to its member states. However, in the recent economic crisis, the IMF failed to observe the planetary economic crisis and could non forestall from it in progress.

On the other manus, many economic experts argued that the surveillance map of the IMF could non cover with the spread of globalisation. As Truman ( 2009b ) stated that Strengthening IMF surveillance is likely the most complex issue turning out of the planetary fiscal crisis.

The IMF plays a critical function in the current crisis to reexamine inadvertences in the planetary pecuniary system. The prostration of Lehman Brothers in 2008 was one of the largest fiscal dazes in old ages, and this annihilating event led to many redundancies around the universe and made a immense figure of victims so far in the recognition crunch and sub-prime crisis. In fact, the IMF was inefficient to oversee the international pecuniary system and supply early warnings system. Furthermore, the economic crisis started from the U.S which is an advanced state. As it may go more complex in the fiscal markets and was merchandises of the developed state, the crisis burst out non merely because of the fiscal ability, but besides because of the moralss ( Lombardi and Woods, 2007 ) ( Lombardi and Woods, 2008 ) . The IMF should pay more attending to exert ‘firm surveillance ‘ non merely in advanced states but besides in developing states ( Bergsten, 2007 ) . Therefore, the IMF is called for to see that restructuring and strengthening in order to finish its function that is supposed to be an alertness system for fiscal stableness ( BBC, 2008 ) . In London G20 Summit, it was given an assignment for the IMF to supply early warning system ( Davis, 2009 )

Obviously, it has been a controversial issue about the function of IMF policy advice to member states in order to better macroeconomic stableness and supply stairss to emerge from crises. For an illustration, a challenge for the IMF was apparent during the East Asiatic crisis in 1997 and 1998, whereby a annihilating fiscal crisis plunged East Asia into a terrible recession ; some argued that IMF provided the uneffective manner out. IMF ‘s over-surveillance and impractical policy recommendations really aggravated the jobs alternatively of cut downing them.

When it comes to exchange-rate policies, the IMF ‘s surveillance map is even more of import. In a planetary recession, many states are tempted to promote their exchange rates to deprecate. The job is that all states can non deprecate their currencies at the same clip vis-a-vis the currencies of all other states ( Wolf, 2004 ) . Hence, it is needed for the IMF to explicate a suited policy of the exchange-rate in order to prolong the planetary economic stableness.

Governance issue

As Truman ( 2009b ) stated that, ”The administration of the IMF continued to be dominated by the major industrial states, in peculiar the United States and the European states, which undermined the legitimacy of the establishment in a changing universe. “ ( Truman, 2009b ) The decision-making mechanism is based on the ballots in the IMF. However, it does non intend that every member has the same vote power. The voting power depends on the quota which was allocated by the IMF ‘s Executive Board, and the Executive Board is dominated by five states holding the biggest vote power in the IMF – U.S. , Japan, Germany, France and U.K ( Bakker,1996 ) . Even if one state is willing to lend more fiscal resource ( money ) to the IMF, it is impossible unless the Executive Boards does non apportion more quotas to this state. Again, it is questioned as being unjust between developed and developing states. In add-on, Davis ( 2009 ) stated that the IMF is be aftering to apportion $ 250 billion to its member states in the signifier of particular pulling rights ( SDRS ) . SDRS are allocated depending on portions in the fund. Obviously, there is a uncertainty that the IMF treats its member states otherwise. Actually, the bigger the size of the state quota is, the more influence they have ( Abbott et al. , 2009 ) But in recent decennaries, the circumstance have been altering. It is undoubted that the importance of the emerging markets has grown to such extent that these advanced states can non disregard, particularly during the period of the planetary economic science crisis. Indeed, the rise of emerging market states late has created new challenge for the IMF. Many emerging market economic sciences questioned that their current interest in the IMF does non stand for their function in the universe economic system. That is to state the importance of the emerging markets is still non reflected in the voting power of the IMF. Several states, particularly in East Asia and South America, accept that they should afford a big quota and great voice at the IMF because of their new economic weight and position ( Weiss, 2008 ) . For case, Brazil and China have more than 200 billion dollars and 2 trillion dollars in difficult modesty severally ( Johnson, 2009 ) In other words, China and Brazil have more right to lend to the IMF right now, and of class, obtain more portions of the ballot for determinations of the IMF. This alteration has a opportunity to interrupt down the state of affairs that the IMF has ever been controlled by a few European states and U.S. since the terminal of World War II. ( Blustein, 2009 ) .

Lending is besides an issue for the IMF. When a fiscal crisis explosions, the IMF has traditionally lent money and imposed conditionality for the authoritiess which suffered the crisis as a manner to command the crisis ( Woods, 2006 ) . However, the economic AIDSs are all conditional, i.e. those states which accept the AIDSs provided by the IMF are required to implement the demanded economic declarations. The loaning policy should be adjusted suitably depending on each state ‘s peculiar fortunes and immediate jobs instead than giving the same medical specialty to each one.

From this serious crisis, it can be seen that the IMF failed to execute its function to some extent. In drumhead, the IMF bears high force per unit areas for bettering the administration from non merely interior but besides outside the establishment.


In the existent universe, it is unrealistic that the IMF can extinguish international fiscal crisis wholly. But, it should be a executable solution for the IMF to extenuate the exposure of the planetary fiscal system and put up an early warning system to the worldwide states. Because of the deficiency of fiscal resource, supervising of the international pecuniary system, and administration issues, it seems likely that to the planetary economic convulsion represent a big challenge for the IMF. However, it has besides created an chance for the IMF to get by with the crisis ; such as restructuring of its administration and beef uping its supervisory function in the planetary economic system. In add-on, the IMF needs to increase the capacity of the available resource for fiscal aid. The procedure It is afoot to do IMF act as a many-sided supervisor to supervise the international pecuniary system in order to guarantee its effectual operation. Attempts are afoot to join forces with the regional fiscal corporation in order to keep the stableness of the world-wide economic. If the chances created by this crisis are utilised decently, IMF can lift once more to its old glorification as the most influential International pecuniary organic structure.