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What is the International Monetary Fund? 10 Things You May Not Know
1) The Primary Purpose of the IMF
1. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) primary purpose is to, as stated on the IMF website, “ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with one other.” It provides assistance and advice to member countries and promotes balanced global economic trade.
2) The IMF was created in 1945 at the end of World War II
It was partly created out of a need to prevent economic crises.
3) 188 countries are currently members
IFM members are represented through a quota system that is based on their relative size in the global economy.
4) As of August 2012, the biggest borrowers from the IMF are Portugal, Greece, and Ireland
The IMF is typically known as a lender of last resort.
5) The IMF is a specialized agency of the United Nations
It collaborates with other organizations to promote growth and poverty reduction.
7) The IMF is established with money paid by taxpayers around the world
It receives “quota” contributions from its members based broadly on their relative size in the global economy.
9) Since early 2010, much of the IMF’s focus has been on Europe due to the sovereign debt crises
At the time, European countries were unable to agree on a purely European solution to Greece’s immediate debt needs. Since then, the extent to which the IMF should be involved in the European sovereign debt crises has been a controversial topic.
10) Christine Lagarde is the first woman to run the IMF
She was chosen in 2011 to succeed former director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.