Journal Issue

How the IMF Is Organized

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
August 2006
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How the IMF Is Organized
International Monetary and Financial Committnee
Board GovernorsJoint IMF-World Bank Development Committee 1
Executive BoardIndependent Evaluation Office
Managing Director
Deputy Managing Directors


Retirement Plan
Office of

Budget and

Office of

Internal Audit

and Inspection
Office of Technical


Area DepartmentsFunctional and SpecialServices DepartmentsInformation and LiaisonSupport Services
African DepartmentFinance DepartmentLegal DepartmentExternal Relations DepartmentHuman Resources Department
Asia and Pacific DepartmentFiscal Affairs DepartmentMonetary and Financial Systems Department 2Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific 3Secretary’s Department
European DepartmentIMF InstitutePolicy Development and Review DepartmentFund Office United Nations 3Technology and General Services Department
Offices in EuropeJoint Africa InstituteResearch Department
Middle East and Central Asia DepartmentJoint Vienna InstituteStatistics Department
Western Hemisphere DepartmentSingapore Training Institute
International Capital Markets Department 2

A Quick Guide To Some Key Terms

Economists and the IMF use a specialized language. Heres a quick reference 10 some of the [emis used in this publication, and the page on which you will find them.

Conditionatity: The policy conditions that countries have to meet in most cases when borrowing money from the IMF (see page 23).

Contagion: Refers to the spread of a financial crisis from one country to another (see page 17).

Facilities: Types of IMF loans available to members (see page 25).

Governance: Encompasses all aspects of the way a country or institution is run, including its regulatory framework and its accountability (see page 19).

IMF surveillance: Literally, oversight: under its Articles of Agreement, the IMF is responsible for overseeing the international monetary system and for exercising firm surveillance over the exchange rate policies of members. Surveillance is one of the core activities of the IMF—tracking economic developments, both globally and in individual countries, and letting policymakers know if things are going off course or if policies need to he corrected (see page 17).

Macroeconomics: Macro comes from the Greek word meaning “large.” Thus, macroeconomics is concerned with the functioning of an economy as a whole and with such variables as total wealth, money, income, unemployment, inflation, and exchange rates (the value of currencies vis-a-vis other currencies). In contrast, microeconomics is concerned with the behavior of individual economic units, such as households and firms, and the determination of relative prices (see page 16).

Net present value (NPV): A technique for assessing the worth of future payments by looking at the present value of those future cash flows discounted at todays cost of capital (see page 29).

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs): An international reserve asset, created by trie IMF in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries. SDRs are allocated to member countries in proportion lo their quoras. The SDR also serves as the unit of account of the IMF Its value is based on a basket of key international currencies (see page 14).

Sustainability: The IMF promotes policies that are designed to lead to sustainable growth—that is, lasting growth that is not interrupted by, for example, “booms and busts.” A country’s debt is sustainable if it can be serviced and repaid without jeopardizing the health of the economy (see page 17).

Transparency: Refers to how open an institution is with the public. The more transparent an institution, me more it keeps the public informed about its activities and mediods of operation (see page 19).

For further information, see the IMF’s glossary of financial terms on its website (

Cover shows a woman paddling along the Mekong River, Long Xuyen, Vietnam. The country has made great strides in liberalizing its trade system (see page 3). (Steve Raymer/CORBIS)


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