The IMF’s Executive Board on May 15 approved an augmentation of Turkey’s three-year Stand-By Arrangement by SDR 6.4 billion (about $8 billion), bringing the total to SDR 15 billion (about $19 billion). The full text of Press Release 01/23, including details of Turkey’s economic program, is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

Abstract

The IMF’s Executive Board on May 15 approved an augmentation of Turkey’s three-year Stand-By Arrangement by SDR 6.4 billion (about $8 billion), bringing the total to SDR 15 billion (about $19 billion). The full text of Press Release 01/23, including details of Turkey’s economic program, is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

A memorial tribute in honor of Sir Alan Whittome, former director of the IMF’s European and Exchange and Trade Relations Departments and Counsellor, was held at the IMF on April 30. Two former Managing Directors, Johannes Witteveen and Jacques de Larosière, sent written tributes, and a third, Michel Camdessus, delivered his remarks in person. Others who spoke were Horst Köhler, the current Managing Director; Andrew Crockett, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements; Sir Christopher McMahon, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England; and P.R. Narvekar, former IMF Deputy Managing Director. The speakers were introduced by Benedicte Christensen, Senior Advisor in the IMF Treasurer’s Department, and the event was attended by Sir Alan’s widow, Duncan, and his two daughters, Candy and Susi Whittome (for details of Sir Alan’s career with the IMF, see IMF Survey, February 5, page 46).

Andrew Crockett noted the “enormous mark” that Sir Alan’s 26 years as a department head had left on the international financial community and his invariable courtesy, whether in speaking to a junior staff member or negotiating with the major industrial countries. He recalled the initial contacts in 1972 between representatives of the then-Soviet Union and Sir Alan, from which nothing materialized at that time, and the political realism with which, in 1973, he was among the first to appreciate that the former Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates had come to its end.

Sir Christopher McMahon reviewed the testing period of the 1960s and 1970s, when the European Department, which Sir Alan headed, was probably the IMF’s most important department and the United Kingdom was undoubtedly its most important client. In the United Kingdom, he said, “we were always impressed by the way Alan’s British nationality was never allowed, either by himself or by his superiors, to be an issue in his often delicate missions.”

Speaking as a person who had worked closely with Sir Alan, P.R. Narvekar paid tribute to his “intellect, industry, and sense of responsibility,” recognizing his qualities as an excellent team leader and manager “with superlative negotiating skills.”

The final speaker, Michel Camdessus, described Sir Alan as his mentor during his first year as Managing Director, helping him design and redesign IMF financial facilities. He summed up the spirit of the evening, saying of Sir Alan “in the long, iterative process of the IMF’s review system, he was able at each stage to add an extra touch, an extra value, always with the view of ending up with something helpful and ‘doable’ for the IMF.”