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International Monetary Fund

MONEY MAY MAKE the world go around, as the song says. And most people in the world probably have handled money, many of them on a daily basis. But despite its familiarity, probably few people could tell you exactly what money is, or how it works. In short, money can be anything that can serve as a

Ms. Irena Asmundson and Ceyda Oner

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

Mr. S. E Oppers
This paper formalizes Irving Fisher’s century-old model of bimetallism and adds the important “disequilibrium” dynamics to deal with the long periods during which bimetallic countries were on effective monometallic standards. It resolves a long standing puzzle in the bimetallic literature regarding the remarkable stability of the gold/silver price ratio in the nineteenth century by modeling the bimetallic mint ratio as a regulating barrier to the gold/silver price ratio. It thus provides a clean-cut example of a target-zone model that—in contrast to other such models in the literature—exhibits the main predicted nonlinearities in the data. This is a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment and the author(s) would welcome any comments on the present text. Citations should refer to a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment of the International Monetary Fund, mentioning the author(s) and the date of issuance. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Fund.
International Monetary Fund


This chapter presents several papers included in the Bretton Woods conference. The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 had left many issues of development finance unresolved. In fact, very early, the World Bank took a different direction from that envisaged by its founders. The IMF came into existence on December 27, 1945. The eventual growth in the Fund's activities led to the disappearance of the nonresident Executive Director. A teleological approach in the examination of the IMF’s authority was inspired not only by the principle that the Fund must be effective in the pursuit of its purposes but also by the belief that the Articles, and especially the provisions on the par value system, constituted an international monetary system. In the 1950s, the Bank made an important contribution to helping countries cope with the external debt problems left over from the 1930s. Moreover now it is trying, in cooperation with the IMF, to help countries make necessary adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes the impact of economic development on the environment. The paper highlights that the environmental impact of the industrial process includes everything from the effects of withdrawing the inputs for industry from nature, through the effects of transforming the inputs into salable products, the effects of using the products, and the effects of disposing of what remains after the product no longer has an economic use. The heart of the problem is that almost none of these impacts of industrial processes can readily be costed.
Charles L. Merwin

This paper discusses events related to creation of the IMF. The paper highlights that representatives of 45 countries met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, a summer resort in the northeastern part of the United States, to prepare the final texts of the Articles of Agreement of the IMF and of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The paper also discusses activities of the IMF in Latin America, highlighting that the Latin American countries offer a rich variety of economic experience, ranging from examples of financial stability and sustained economic growth to chronic difficulty or acute crisis.

International Monetary Fund


This is the fourth in our series of articles commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference. Edward Bernstein is eminently qualified to write on this topic. He was a participant at Bretton Woods as a member of the U.S. delegation, after having played a leading role in the technical elaboration of the White Plan—the U.S. proposal for the Fund—as Assistant Director of Monetary Research at the U.S. Treasury. In 1946, he became the Director of the Fund’s Research Department, a post he held for 12 years. As architect and builder, he had a profound influence on the institution and its staff in the formative years. After leaving the Fund in 1958, he established the consulting firm of EMB Ltd. and became its President. Among many other activities, he was Chairman of the U.S. government-appointed Review Commission for Balance of Payments Statistics and a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on International Monetary Arrangements. Since 1982, he has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. In this essay, he addresses a question that has been on the minds of many in recent years.

Mr. Joseph Gold


The Fund came into existence on December 27, 1945. I joined the staff on October 21, 1946. My remarks will relate largely to the period of the magistracy of Camille Gutt, Ivar Rooth, and Per Jacobsson, the first three Managing Directors. The period came to an end with the death of Per Jacobsson on May 5, 1963.