Vreeland, James Raymond. 2007.
The International Monetary Fund: Politics of Conditional Lending.
New York: Routledge.
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Barnes and Noble
The International Monetary Fund
is a powerful international institution. Founded in the aftermath of
World War II, its basic purposes were to facilitate world trade and promote
national prosperity. The founders hoped that never again would the world
experience the trade policies that led up to the Great Depression. Soon after its
inception, the IMF became involved with developing countries. Over the course of
the past 50 years, this involvement has grown so that most developing countries
have participated in its programs of economic reform. These “IMF programs” grant
governments access to loans, but this access can be swiftly cut off if the
governments fail to comply with specific policy conditions. IMF conditional lending
impacts the lives of individuals in intimate ways. The policy conditions address
government expenditures, so IMF programs help determine whether roads, schools, or
debt repayment take priority. By addressing interest rates and currency
valuation, IMF programs may even impact the very purchasing power of the money in
people’s pockets. Unfortunately, in terms of economic development, there is
scant evidence of the success of IMF conditional lending.
• Why do so many governments participate in IMF programs?
• Who controls the IMF?
• How should it be reformed?
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By addressing the more demanding aspects of the institution, its debates and controversies in a clear
and accessible fashion, this book will provide readers with a definitive introduction to link economic studies of the IMF with the political