IMF faces fresh pressure for internal reform

FRESH PRESSURE for internal reform of the International Monetary Fund has built up at this week's meetings of the Fund and the World Bank in Washington.

The spring cleaning could result in the departure of Michel Camdessus as managing director of the IMF before its annual meetings at the end of September.

The meeting of the Fund's Interim Committee - in effect its supervisory board - also expressed concern about the state of the world economy.

Robert Rubin, the US Treasury Secretary, said: "Serious challenges remain and I believe the balance of risks for the global economy remain on the downside."

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, said that although some earlier worries had not materialised, there was a "workman-like" approach to the challenges.

The Interim Committee discussed proposals for its own restructuring yesterday. Although there is no consensus about specific measures yet, the reforms will make the IMF more accountable to a broader range of member countries, especially the developing countries.

It has already been agreed that in future the president of the World Bank will attend IMF Interim Committee meetings. Other measures that will give the committee, currently not much more than a talking shop on the international scene, greater influence over Fund decisions are likely.

The dissatisfaction with the Fund's handling of the world financial and economic crisis over the past two years was reflected in the communique issued by the Group of 24, a grouping of developing nations.

It urged greater flexibility in IMF policy prescriptions and emphasised "the need for developing countries to have an equitable representation" in the process of crisis management.

Ministers from the emerging economies have also expressed concern about the pressure on them to publish IMF assessments of their economies. The need for greater transparency is at the core of the G7's proposals for international reform, but the G24 warned: "Publication of Fund staff surveillance reports is likely to compromise the quality and candour of discussions with member countries."

The reports could help trigger crises if they moved the financial markets adversely. At the very least, the IMF will have to improve its own record on transparency and accountability, as its senior echelons acknowledge.

Mr Brown reaffirmed the importance of greater transparency. In his remarks to the Interim Committee he also said growth in the UK would be slower this year than last but would strengthen into 2000.

Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the EU's monetary affairs commissioner, said the euro's depreciation against the dollar had been "relatively modest" and the result of slower growth, adding, "even if there is room for an appreciation of the euro".

Kiichi Miyazawa, Japan's finance minister, defended his government's economic policy, saying it was responding "forcefully" to difficult conditions.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Audit Manager Central Functions

To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...

Credit Risk Audit Manager

Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week