Glossary: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

DEFINITION:
Established on December 27, 1945, the IMF began operating on March 1, 1947. The IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The IMFs main business is the provision of loans to its members when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients. The IMFs capital resources comprise Special Drawing Rights and currencies that the members pay under quotas calculated for them when they join. These resources are supplemented by borrowing. In 1993 the IMF had 167 members.

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