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Ruben Lamdany and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz

Abstract

The papers contained in this volume draw on background work done in preparation for a study of the governance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the IMF, and they seek to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on how best to strengthen the governance of this important global institution.1 Since the IEO study was released in May 2008, the task of strengthening the IMF’s governance, already pressing and long overdue, became a matter of urgent attention. The ongoing financial crisis that has precipitated the deepest global recession since the 1930s has raised questions about the Fund’s capacity to perform its key surveillance mandate under its current governance arrangements. There is widespread concern that the Fund (and other international organizations as well) appears to have missed the crisis as it was evolving and thus did not issue timely and effective warnings. This has intensified calls to restructure the international financial architecture. But even as world leaders move in this direction, they seem to agree overwhelmingly that the IMF should remain a central part of that architecture. At the same time, they emphasize that a more legitimate, accountable, and effective IMF must emerge from the crisis.