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PETER WICKHAM

THE TRANSFORMATION of the international monetary system since 1971 has provided governments of member countries of the International Monetary Fund with a far wider range of choice with regard to their exchange rate regimes than had previously existed. Before 1971 most member countries of the Fund had a declared par value for their currencies, with margins of 1 percent and the obligation to maintain the par value unless a “fundamental disequilibrium” could be shown to have arisen. There were, however, a small number of countries that did not maintain stable par values. Some member countries in Latin America experienced rapid rates of domestic inflation that necessitated gradual depreciation of their exchange rates in relation to their intervention currencies, and both Lebanon and Canada had extensive experience with floating exchange rates. Since 1971, and especially since 1973, several different types of exchange arrangements emerged, and they were formally legalized as possible choices in the Second Amendment of the Fund’s Articles of Agreement on April 1, 1978. Countries could adopt a link to an external standard by pegging to another currency, to the SDR, or to a self-selected basket of currencies. Those countries wishing for greater flexibility could choose “clean” floating, “managed” floating with various degrees of intervention, or a rule for officially controlling the movement in the exchange rate according to objective indicators. Variants of those schemes have also appeared—such as pegging to an undisclosed basket of currencies, but with the authorities’ reserving the right to make occasional shifts in the rate or to operate the scheme within fairly wide margins.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
En mettant l’accent sur le travail du FMI et sur les grandes questions macroéconomiques et financières internationales, le Bulletin du FMI présente une analyse des développements nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux, des informations sur le travail, les politiques, les réformes et les activités d'assistance technique du FMI, les conclusions d'études de calibre mondial, des données essentielles qui ne sont souvent pas disponibles ailleurs, ainsi que des rapports sur les discussions économiques et financières au sein du FMI et ailleurs. Publié douze fois par an, ce bulletin de seize pages s'adresse à un large public : dirigeants, analystes, chercheurs, étudiants et journalistes. Disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
El Boletín del FMI aborda de manera específica el trabajo del FMI y los grandes temas macroeconómicos y financieros internacionales y ofrece análisis sobre la evolución en los distintos países y regiones y en el mundo; información sobre las operaciones, políticas, reformas y asistencia técnica del FMI; síntesis de las principales investigaciones económicas mundiales; datos fundamentales que no suelen estar disponibles en otras fuentes, e informes sobre debates económicos y financieros que tienen lugar dentro y fuera del FMI. Este boletín de 16 páginas, publicado 12 veces al año, está orientado a una vasta audiencia, que incluye autoridades de política económica, analistas, profesionales del mundo académico y de los medios de difusión y estudiantes. Disponible en inglés, español y francés.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Afghanistan: IMF loan; de Rato, African Governors meet; Bank-Fund collaboration; New Zealand, Libya; Chinese monetary policy; Lebanon: reconstruction; Canada: commodity boom; Persian Gulf: statistical agency; ECB monetary policy; WAEMU; Mineral resources.