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CRS – International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress, Martin A. Weiss, Specialist in International Trade and Finance. March 21, 2013: “The IMF has evolved significantly as an institution since it was created. Floating exchange rates and more open capital markets in the 1990s created a new role for the IMF—the resolution of frequent and volatile international financial crises. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 and subsequent crises in Russia and Latin America revealed many weaknesses of the world monetary system, which have only become more apparent in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the more recent sovereign debt crises in Europe. This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the IMF’s activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight related, that Congress may wish to consider, including

  • the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort;
  • the adequacy of IMF resources; and
  • the effectiveness of IMF surveillance.
  • Related postings on the financial system

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