International Monetary Cooperation

By George N. Halm | Go to book overview

VI. THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

BASIC WORKING PRINCIPLES OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

THE ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT for the establishment of an International Monetary Fund are an elaboration of the Joint Statement which, in turn, followed, in its general approach, the proposals of Dr. White and the Canadian experts.

The Agreement is a rather difficult document whose implications are not always easy to grasp. What Mrs. Robinson said about the first draft of the White Plan remains true for the Agreement: it contains a set of rules without explanations and "has to be read in the spirit of a detective story."1.

In the present chapter we shall try to keep the broad outlines of the International Monetary Fund as free as possible from details of lesser importance; and to make the general working principles of the Fund stand out more clearly, we shall postpone the main discussion of such very important items as exchange rates, changes in par values of member currencies, quotas, etc.

The Agreement proposes the creation of an International Monetary Fund as the most practical method of assuring international monetary cooperation (Joint Statement, Introductory Remarks). The Fund is a mutual exchange or credit pool to which the member countries contribute their own currencies and gold, and from which they can buy other members' currencies. The basic idea is, therefore, of convincing simplicity: accepted and tested principles of Central Banking, particularly

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1.
See Robinson, op. cit., p. 167.

-62-

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