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Global Business and IMF - Essay Example

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An international monetary organisation of 184 countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been working since 1946 to “foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic…
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Global Business and IMF
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Global Business and IMF

Download file to see previous pages... The Great Depression and the two World Wars gave a great setback to the greatest nations of the world. Shook by these disasters, delegates from 44 countries met in July 1944 at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in U.S.A. and agreed on a framework for “economic cooperation party” (Clift, 2004). The IMF was conceived in that meeting, whose primary agenda was to avoid those inconsistent economic policies that led to the Great Depression of 1930s. It background was the pursuit of flawed economic policies, like increased restriction on imports and freedom to buy in other countries, dwindling gold and foreign exchange reserves and even devaluation of currencies, which together contributed to worsening the downward spiral in output, world trade and the overall employment rate. All these steps devastated the international economy, leading to a sharp decline in trade, world output, employment and living standards (Dicken, 1986).
Hence in order to restore the international monetary relations, the IMF emerged after the constitution of a charter (Articles of Agreement) by the country representatives. Its purpose was the establishment of an international institution, which could overlook the international monetary system and guide the member countries to pursue appropriate economic policies. It officially came into existence in December 1945, when 29 countries signed the Articles of Agreement (IMF). Since then, IMF has strictly pursued its original purposes, which became more important with the expansion of more countries.
Any country, regardless of being a member of UN or not, is eligible for membership of the IMF. The membership largely depends on the terms prescribed by the Board of Directors of IMF. However, a country has to agree to financial policies economic growth and reasonable price stability. Furthermore, the country has to provide the IMF with economic data, which it will regularly analyse.
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