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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IEO completed an evaluation of the governance of the IMF in 2008 when the stability of the international monetary system was under threat and the relevance and legitimacy of the IMF was in question. The 2008 evaluation assessed the extent to which IMF governance was effective and efficient, and whether it provided sufficient accountability and channels for stakeholder voices to be heard. It concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of the Fund’s governance while accountability and voice had been the weakest, with the potential to undermine legitimacy and effectiveness if not addressed.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The 2008 evaluation assessed the degree to which Fund governance was effective and efficient, and whether it provided sufficient accountability and channels for stakeholders to have their views heard. It focused on institutional structures as well as on the formal and informal relationships among the Fund’s main governance bodies: the Executive Board (“Board”), Management (the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Directors), and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). Overall, it found that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of Fund governance, which allowed for quick and consistent action particularly in times of systemic crisis. On the other hand, accountability and voice had been the weakest aspects, which the evaluation considered would likely undermine legitimacy and effectiveness over the medium term if left unaddressed.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Significant progress has been made over the past decade towards reforming IMF governance, notably towards realigning quota and voice with member country positions in the global economy. There have also been numerous developments relative to the Board, Management, and the IMFC since the IEO evaluation. This chapter summarizes these developments as well as highlights areas where there has not been much change since 2008.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

As laid out in Chapter 3, Fund governance has evolved since the 2008 evaluation, aided by various reform initiatives. This chapter analyzes the current state of Fund governance, considering each of the Fund’s main governance bodies—the Board, Management, and the IMFC—in turn. The assessment in this chapter is informed by a desk review of internal documents; data analysis; the views of EDs, country authorities, Management, and senior Fund staff obtained through interviews; and discussions with external experts. Survey responses are presented as supplementary information but are not used as the primary source for findings given low response rates.24

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Since 2008, a series of reforms have strengthened IMF governance in a number of ways. The 2008 and 2010 quota and voice reforms achieved a sizable reduction in misalignments of member country voting power with the evolving global economy while protecting representation of low-income members. Other reforms, mainly in the area of Board practices and procedures, have improved efficiency and raised the Board’s capacity to deliver on its executive, strategic, and oversight roles. The recent introduction of Board self-evaluation, a more open archives policy, modifications to the MD’s accountability framework, and the establishment of the Office of Risk Management are steps toward greater accountability and learning. These changes as well as the underlying efforts by IMF governance bodies to make them happen deserve full recognition.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The foreign exchange market is the world’s largest financial market by virtually any measure. It is the only truly global financial market: currencies are traded in financial centers around the world, connected by communications systems that allow nearly instantaneous transmission of price information and trade instructions. The market has grown rapidly over the last decade since cross-border capital flows have been liberalized and the regulatory constraints on institutional investments relaxed. The increased liquidity of securities markets, particularly in the industrial countries, which has resulted from privatization and from larger and more efficient markets for government debt securities, has also increased the range of foreign assets available to investors and made foreign investment easier. This expansion of cross-border capital flows has been actively promoted by governments seeking broader investor bases for their own debt and for securities issued by domestic firms. Improvements in trading and settlement practices and in technology have increased the liquidity of secondary markets for foreign exchange instruments and allowed participating financial institutions to handle larger volumes of transactions safely.