IMF and World Bank The International Monetary Fund.doc -...

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INTRODUCTION.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstructionand Development – IBRD (World Bank) were conceived in 1944 during the UnitedNations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire,United States of America. They came into existence in 1945 when their articles ofagreement were signed by the first member states. However, in the trade area,the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was also established, and afterGATT transformed in the 1990’s to World Trade Organisation (WTO). While themajor mission of the World Bank was to help the countries that fought the 2ndWorld war to rebuild their devastated economies, the IMF was to provide theneeded global financial services such as adequate funding, sound financial advice,global trade and balance of payment management, and to carryout technical/financial research and make available the reports of such research to countriesthat may need them so as to improve global economy (Blanco and Carrasco,2012). With the help of America’s Marshal Plan combined with the efforts of bothIMF and World Bank, European economies were rebuilt and development wasrestored to Europe. Since then, the functions and focus of the IMF and WorldBank have shifted to mainly developing countries that are still having enormouseconomic problems, and are in dire need of development. However, these BrettonWoods institutions have not been able to replicate what they did to Europeaneconomies after the world war 11, rather they have become veritable instrumentsin the hands of the developed nations particularly the capitalist West who aretheir major financiers and decision makers, for the exploitation andunderdevelopment of the periphery. The advanced capitalist countries have beenable to perpetrate and perpetuate these exploitation and dependency in the ThirdWorld partly because they are the major financial contributors to the IMF andWorld Bank, They have the highest voting powers in these institutions, and theydo not hesitate to use such powers to benefit themselves at the expense of theThird World. By virtue of their financial contribution to these global financialInstitutions, the Western nations are the decision makers and as such they dictatewho gets what, how and when. This is a clear manifestation of the aphorism thathe who pays the piper dictates the tune. The G-7 members (United States,Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Japan) are top contributorsto the World Bank and IMF, and together they control over 40 percent of thevotes. The US is the only country with a super-majority power to block any1
decisions of the World Bank. The World Bank president is always an American andthe president of IMF is always European. Therefore, the developing World haslittle or no say over the policies of these international financial institutions.

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Term
Spring
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International Monetary Fund, The World Bank

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