Chapter

APPENDIX VI Statement On Gold Subsidies Communicated To All Members

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 1948
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(Press Release of December 11, 1947)

The International Monetary Fund has a responsibility to see that the gold policies of its members do not undermine or threaten to undermine exchange stability. Consequently every member which proposes to introduce new measures to subsidize the production of gold is under obligation to consult with the Fund on the specific measures to be introduced.

Under Article IV, Section 2 of the Articles of Agreement of the Fund members are prohibited from buying gold at a price above parity plus the prescribed margin. In the view of the Fund, a subsidy in the form of a uniform payment per ounce for all or part of the gold produced would constitute an increase in price which would not be permissible if the total price paid by the member for gold were thereby to become in excess of parity plus the prescribed margin. Subsidies involving payments in another form may also, depending upon their nature, constitute an increase in price.

Under Article IV, Section 4 (a) each member of the Fund, “undertakes to collaborate with the Fund to promote exchange stability, to maintain orderly exchange arrangements with other members, and to avoid competitive exchange alterations". Subsidies on gold production regardless of their form are inconsistent with Article IV, Section 4 (a) if they undermine or threaten to undermine exchange stability. This would be the case, for example, if subsidies were to cast widespread doubt on the uniformity of the monetary value of gold in all member countries.

Subsidies which do not directly affect exchange stability may, nevertheless, contribute directly or indirectly to monetary instability in other countries and hence be of concern to the Fund.

A determination by the Fund that a proposed subsidy is not inconsistent with the foregoing principles will depend upon the circumstances in each case. Moreover, the Fund may find that subsidies which are justified at any one time may, because of changing conditions and changing effects, later prove to be inconsistent with the foregoing principles. In order to carry out its objectives, the Fund will continue to study, and to review with its members, their gold policies and any proposed changes, to determine if they are consonant with the provisions of the Fund Agreement and conducive to a sound international policy regarding gold.

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