1. In recent years, the IMF has been at the center of an array of criticism concerning the adverse side effects of its interventions in the countries that it supports financially, the effectiveness of the economic programs that form the basis for this support, and even its very role in today’s international financial system, with the fiercest critics arguing that it has outlived the mission for which it was created. While the criticism is extensive, it is not unanimous and there are many who recognize that the IMF has an important role to play in promoting stability in the international financial system and especially in helping member countries manage balance of payments problems in a manner consistent with the pursuit of other economic objectives.