Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 2011
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    The International Monetary Fund

    The IMF is the world’s central organization for international monetary cooperation. With 187 member countries, it is an organization in which almost all of the countries in the world work together to promote the common good. The IMF’s primary purpose is to safeguard the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to buy goods and services from one another. This is essential for achieving sustainable economic growth and raising living standards.

    All of the IMF’s member countries are represented on its Executive Board, which discusses the national, regional, and global consequences of each member’s economic policies. This Annual Report covers the activities of the Executive Board and Fund management and staff during the financial year May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011.

    The main activities of the IMF include

    • providing advice to members on adopting policies that can help them prevent or resolve a financial crisis, achieve macroeconomic stability, accelerate economic growth, and alleviate poverty;

    • making financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance of payments problems, that is, when they find themselves short of foreign exchange because their payments to other countries exceed their foreign exchange earnings; and

    • offering technical assistance and training to countries at their request, to help them build the expertise and institutions they need to implement sound economic policies.

    The IMF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and, reflecting its global reach and close ties with its members, also has offices around the world.

    Additional information on the IMF and its member countries can be found on the Fund’s website, www.imf.org.

    Ancillary materials for the Annual Report—Web Boxes, Web Tables, Appendixes (including the IMF’s financial statements for the financial year ended April 30, 2011), and other pertinent documents—can be accessed via the Annual Report web page at www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/ar/2011/eng. Print copies of the financial statements are available from IMF Publication Services, P.O. Box 92780, Washington, DC 20090. A CD-ROM version of the Annual Report, including the ancillary materials posted on the web page, is also available from IMF Publication Services

    IMF

    INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

    Annual Report 2011

    Pursuing Equitable and Balanced Growth

    Contents

    The IMF’s financial year is May 1 through April 30.

    The unit of account of the IMF is the SDR; conversions of IMF financial data to U.S. dollars are approximate and provided for convenience. On April 30, 2011, the SDR/U.S. dollar exchange rate was US$1 = SDR 0.616919, and the U.S. dollar/SDR exchange rate was SDR 1 = US$1.62096. The year-earlier rates (April 30, 2010) were US$1 = SDR 0.661762 and SDR 1 = US$1.51112.

    “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion; minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    As used in this Annual Report, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.

    Message from the Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Board

    Having recently joined the IMF as its new Managing Director, i am struck by how the institution has continued to enhance its relevance over the past year—building on the important changes that had already taken place in the wake of the crisis. The fund moved ahead on a wide range of fronts, reflecting the evolving demands of the global economy and the changing needs of its members.

    Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Board.

    We continue to live in testing times. while the global recovery continued in FY2011, it remained multispeed. This has been the source of some tensions. in advanced economies, a slow recovery has left unemployment painfully high. in many emerging economies, a rapid recovery has raised the risks of overheating. And in many developing countries, although growth has been relatively strong, the sharp rise in commodity prices has inflicted significant social hardship. This comes on top of the challenge of creating jobs—especially for the young—and addressing rising social demands for a better quality of life.

    At the same time, many of the IMF’s members continued to grapple with legacy issues from the crisis. Fiscal sustainability is a major challenge for many of the Fund’s largest members, including Japan and the United States. Financial sector repair and reform moved ahead, but progress is still needed in a number of areas, such as developing coherent resolution mechanisms, establishing a comprehensive macro-prudential framework, and ensuring that regulation and supervision capture the entire financial system. And critically, many of our members need to enhance competitiveness, to achieve the growth needed to create jobs and raise living standards.

    Over the last few years, the IMF has been adapting to meet the evolving needs of its members. This continued in FY2011, with important developments in the core areas of governance, financing, and surveillance. As in previous years, the continued strengthening of the Fund reflected the excellent cooperation between the Fund’s management, staff, and the Executive Board.

    For the Fund to be effective, its governance must be considered legitimate. There were two important developments in FY2011. First, a major agreement on governance reform—affecting quotas and the composition of the institution’s Executive Board—was reached in December 2010. And second, the 2008 quota reform, which strengthens the representation of dynamic economies in the IMF and enhances the voice and participation of low-income countries, entered into effect in March 2011.

    A hallmark of the IMF is that it has continued to adapt its financing toolkit to serve its members more effectively. In 2010, the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) was enhanced to be more useful and effective in crisis prevention. In addition, a new financing tool—the Precautionary Credit Line—was introduced, and made available to a wider group of countries than the FCL. The Fund also joined forces with its European partners to provide financial support to Greece and Ireland—and Portugal as well, in May 2011. Since the crisis began, IMF financial commitments to help members weather the crisis have reached record levels, with General Resources Account credit outstanding at SDR 75.6 billion as of end-July 2011, compared with the previous peak of SDR 70 billion reached in September 2003. This shows the importance of the Fund’s lending role to the membership. To better support its low-income members hit by the most catastrophic of natural disasters, the Fund established a Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust, which will enable us to join rapidly international debt relief efforts in these circumstances.

    Of course, while it is essential for the IMF to have an adequate financing toolkit, it is even better for it to help prevent crises in the first place. And last year, the effectiveness of IMF surveillance was enhanced in several ways. The Fund sharpened its focus on the policy implications of the growing interconnectedness between its members. It also stepped up its efforts to understand the connectedness within economies better, in particular, of macro-financial linkages. How the international monetary system might be strengthened—a task that is central to the Fund’s mandate—was also a core area of work, focusing on issues including capital flows and the adequacy of international reserves.

    Turning to the financial year that is already under way, our work is being guided by our members’ call—at the 2010 Annual Meetings—to continue improving the Fund’s legitimacy, credibility, and effectiveness, through quota and governance reforms and by modernizing the Fund’s surveillance and financing mandates.

    We are working with the membership to make the 2010 governance reform package operational as soon as possible. The ongoing Triennial Surveillance Review is a critical opportunity to improve the focus and traction of IMF surveillance. Our experience with the pilot spillover reports on systemically important countries will also provide valuable input for our surveillance of interconnectedness. And on crisis intervention, we will continue exploring options to improve the global financial safety net, based on sound incentives. More broadly, we will press ahead with efforts to strengthen the international monetary system.

    As I reflect on the next financial year—my first as Managing Director of the IMF—I expect the Fund to continue along its journey of enhancing its effectiveness and credibility. This institution has a critical role to play in preventing crises, and in achieving strong, stable and balanced global growth. In this regard, I would like to recognize the important contribution made by my predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Under his leadership, the Fund moved rapidly and forcefully to support its members in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In doing so, he set the Fund on the path of increased relevance for the future as well.

    I am honored and proud to have been elected to lead the Fund, and I look forward to working closely with all our members—and with the Executive Board—to address the new and evolving challenges facing them and the global economy as a whole.

    The Annual Report of the IMF’s Executive Board to the Fund’s Board of Governors is an essential instrument in the IMF’s accountability. The Executive board is responsible for conducting the Fund’s business and consists of 24 Executive Directors appointed by the IMF’s 187 member countries, while the Board of Governors, on which every member country is represented by a senior official, is the highest authority governing the IMF. The publication of the Annual Report represents the accountability of the Executive Board to the Fund’s Board of Governors.

    Letter of Transmittal to the Board of Governors

    July 29, 2011

    Dear Mr. Chairman:

    I have the honor to present to the Board of Governors the Annual Report of the Executive Board for the financial year ended April 30, 2011, in accordance with Article XII, Section 7(a) of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund and Section 10 of the IMF’s By-Laws. In accordance with Section 20 of the By-Laws, the administrative and capital budgets of the IMF approved by the Executive Board for the financial year ending April 30, 2012, are presented in Chapter 5. The audited financial statements for the year ended April 30, 2011, of the General Department, the SDR Department, and the accounts administered by the IMF, together with reports of the external audit firm thereon, are presented in Appendix VI, which appears on the CD-ROM version of the Report, as well as at www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/ar/2011/eng/index. htm. The external audit and financial reporting processes were overseen by the External Audit Committee, comprising Mr. Arfan Ayass, Ms. Amelia Cabal, and Mr. Ulrich Graf (Chair), as required under Section 20(c) of the Fund’s By-Laws.

    Christine Lagarde

    Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Board

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