Chapter

Article IV, Section 2

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 1963
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Gold

Premium Gold Transactions: Statement to Members

The following statement should be communicated to members and made public without delay:

In June 1947, the Fund issued a statement recommending to its members that they take effective action to prevent external transactions in gold at premium prices, because such transactions tend to undermine exchange stability and to impair monetary reserves. From time to time the Fund has reviewed its recommendations and the effectiveness of the action taken by its members.

Despite the improvement in the payments position of many members, sound gold and exchange policy of members continues to require that to the maximum extent practicable, gold should be held in official reserves rather than go into private hoards. It is only as gold is held in official reserves that it can be used by the monetary authorities to maintain exchange rates and meet balance of payments needs.

However, the Fund’s continuous study of the situation in gold-producing and -consuming countries shows that their positions vary so widely as to make it impracticable to expect all members to take uniform measures in order to achieve the objectives of the premium gold statement. Accordingly, while the Fund reaffirms its belief in the economic principles involved and urges the members to support them, the Fund leaves to its members the practical operating decisions involved in their implementation, subject to the provisions of Art. IV, Sec. 2 and other relevant articles of the Articles of Agreement of the I.M.F.

The Fund will continue to collect full information about gold transactions, will watch carefully developments in this field and will be prepared in consultation with members to consider problems relating to exchange stability and any other problems which may arise.

Decision No. 75-(705)

September 28, 1951

For the statement of June 1947, see Annual Report of the Executive Directors, 1947, p. 78.

Statement of Policy Concerning Subsidies for Gold Production

The following statement of policy concerning subsidies for the production of gold is adopted, and the Managing Director is asked to send copies to members and release the statement for publication on December 12.

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.

Decision No. 233-2

December 11, 1947

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