Front Matter

Front Matter

Juanita Roushdy
Published Date:
March 1987
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    The Role of the SDR in the International Monetary System

    Studies by the Research and Treasurer’s Departments of the International Monetary Fund

    International Monetary Fund

    Washington, D.C.

    March 1987

    © 1987 International Monetary Fund

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    The Role of the SDR in the international monetary system.

    (Occasional paper, ISSN 0251-6365; no. 51)

    1. Special drawing rights. 2. European currency unit. 3. International finance. I. International Monetary Fund. Research Dept. II. International Monetary Fund. Treasurer’s Dept. III. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund); no. 51.

    HG3898.R65 1987 332.4’5


    ISBN 0-939934-81-7

    Price: US$7.50

    (US$4.50 university libraries, faculty members, and students)

    Address orders to:

    External Relations Department, Publications Unit

    International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. 20431


    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • – between years or months (e.g., 1984–85 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

    • / between years (e.g., 1985/86) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.


    At its meeting in Seoul, Korea, on October 6–7, 1985, the Interim Committee of the IMF’s Board of Governors on the International Monetary System “urged the Executive Board to pursue its planned review of the role of the SDR, in all its aspects in the international monetary system as a matter of priority, and to submit to the Committee a progress report for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting.”1 On the same occasion, the Committee requested the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund to study the issues raised in the reports of the Group of Ten and the Group of Twenty-Four on the international monetary system, both of which contain a discussion of the role of the SDR.2 As a consequence, a number of papers were prepared by the Fund staff. Three are presented here in two parts: the first part deals with changes in the role of the SDR and the second provides a comparative analysis of the SDR and the ECU through early 1986. Section I of Part One sketches the profound changes that have occurred in the international monetary system and their effects on the perception of the role of the SDR. Section II discusses whether there is a potential role for the SDR in the international monetary system as it is currently evolving. The analysis of the SDR and the ECU in Part Two compares their characteristics and functioning in official and private circles. An appendix for each unit gives background information on their evolution and use.

    Part One was prepared in the Research Department by Michael Dooley, David Folkerts-Landau, Peter Isard, Mohsin Khan, Donald Mathieson, and Rudolf Rhomberg. Part Two was prepared in the Treasurer’s Department by Warren L. Coats, Jr., Jacob Gons, Thomas Leddy, and Pierre van den Boogaerde. Juanita Roushdy of the External Relations Department edited the studies.

    The papers have benefited from comments by other Fund staff members and in some instances by members of the Executive Board. The opinions expressed, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Fund.

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