The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
All financial institutions specialize, in dimensions that may include categories of assets and liabilities, types of services offered, customer demographics, and geographic coverage. The International Monetary Fund is the only international financial institution that is universal in its geographic scope, prepared to lend on request to virtually any country in the world. Why has this status come about? What are its costs and benefits? Is it an appropriate model for a world where macroeconomic imbalances, financial crises, and disparities in economic development must compete for attention and resources?