In letter, economists urge IMF governance reforms

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Thirteen U.S.-based and
other economists on Tuesday called for a “timely conclusion” to
International Monetary Fund reform to make the global lender
more representative of all its members.

In an open letter to the IMF’s board of governors, the
group said the IMF had responded flexibly to help countries
during the global financial and economic crisis but was slow to
agree on governance reforms.

The IMF’s board of governors is made up of finance
ministers or central bank chiefs from the fund’s 197 member
countries, which will ultimately sign off on the reforms.

“We urge you to support a comprehensive package that
addresses key reforms of IMF governance in order to generate a
tangible shift in the representation, inclusiveness and
accountability of the institution,” the economists said ahead
of a gathering of global financial leaders at the IMF and World
Bank meetings on Oct. 8-9.

The call comes amid an increasing power struggle within the
IMF on how to give emerging powers more influence in the global
institution through adjustments to voting shares and board
seats. [ID:nN25162796].

The IMF has long been dominated by the United States and
Europe and its governing structures still reflect the
post-World War Two order under which it was created.

Under proposals currently being negotiated by countries to
reflect the rapid rise of emerging economic powers, China could
leap-frog industrial powers like Germany. [ID:nN27259467]

The letter included signatures by Nancy Birdsall, president
of the Center for Global Development, economists Colin
Bradford, Ralph Bryant and Johannes Linn of the Brookings
Institution; Domenico Lombardi of Brookings and president of
the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy, John Sewell of the
Woodrow Wilson Center, Paola Subacchi of Chatham House, Jo
Marie Griesgraber of New Rules for Global Finance, Pamela Gomez
of development group Oxfam, and Daniel Bradlow of the
University of Pretoria.

The group called for:

* A timely conclusion to a review of voting power in the
IMF with a shift of at least 5 percent in quota shares from
advanced to emerging economies, while safeguarding the position
of poorer countries;

* A recomposition of the IMF board through a major
consolidation of European chairs to give emerging economies a
bigger voice;

* Significant improvements to limited and outdated
disclosure standards of board decisions including the timely
disclosure of board transcripts and documents;

* A transparent, open and merit-based selection of senior
management and leadership of the IMF and other international
organizations without restrictions based on nationality, and

* A lowering of the 85 percent supermajority rule for
decisions other than amendments to the articles of agreement.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

In letter, economists urge IMF governance reforms