What are the immediate effects of the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund that can be considered changes in the practice of the Fund and its members? This is a frequent question, particularly because one consequence of the Second Amendment is legalization of the exchange arrangements that were already in force when the Second Amendment became effective on April 1, 1978. Some commentators might say that the effect of the Second Amendment was merely to legalize existing exchange practices, but even if this were the sole or leading effect, the obligations associated with legalization should not be ignored. Nor should one ignore the dangers of disorder that are inevitable in the absence of an agreed legal order for international monetary relations.
The Second Amendment has produced numerous new effects even at this early date. As implied by the question that introduces the preceding paragraph, a distinction can be made between changes in practice that result from the Second Amendment and incorporation in the Articles of practices that were followed before the Second Amendment. A different classification can be made of the most important first consequences of the Second Amendment. One class includes those consequences that have followed automatically from the fact that the provisions of the Second Amendment have become effective. A second class consists of those consequences that have resulted from the exercise by the Fund of new powers under the Second Amendment. A third class consists of decisions taken before the Second Amendment became effective but taken because its effectiveness was imminent. These three classes are discussed in turn under the headings New Provisions, New Decisions, and Anticipatory Decisions.