Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund

About the series

CIGI experts offer commentary and analysis in advance of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Annual Meetings, held in Washington, DC on October 11–13, 2013.

In the Series

With the most acute phase of the global financial crisis behind them, the finance ministers and central bank governors from the IMF’s 188 member countries will gather in Washington, DC this week to focus on three broad topics and one distraction.
In the coming days, finance ministers and central bank governors from 188 countries will gather in Washington, DC to discuss their assessment of the global economy. Their attention will be on the US government shutdown and the (highly theoretical) prospect of a US default, rather than an imminent breakup of the euro zone. Risks of fallout of the euro have significantly receded, at least in the shorter term. Nonetheless, the policy narrative that the European delegations will share in Washington — centred on an imminent recovery and progress on fiscal stabilization and the banking union — should be met with caution.
Reforming the IMF is one of the most important challenges for international financial policy in 2013. The IMF is the world’s premier multilateral financial institution, but its effectiveness as a manager of global crises and protector of global financial stability is threatened by the failure of the international community to complete the reform package that was agreed upon in Seoul in November 2010. That failure lies squarely at the feet of the US Congress, and the key to overcoming it is in their hands.
The IMF leadership and staff have laid the groundwork for progress on climate change. Political will is required, not more study. IMF staff have produced significant material on climate change that should be followed up. There is a wealth of materials to guide decisions and policies on climate finance. The IMF is in a position, under existing authorities, to catalyze actions that would have significant positive implications and possibly lever game-saving multilateral action.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) description of its mission is to promote international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability, facilitate the balanced growth of international trade and provide resources to help members in balance-of-payments difficulties or to assist with poverty reduction. Its mission has an impact on all five dimensions in the CIGI Survey on the Progress of International Economic Governance. This note discusses options for the IMF to “push the envelope” and contribute to improving the rate of progress.
The Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank will be the next test of the global community’s ability to deliver on the often-repeated commitments to collaborative actions to enhance global growth and strengthen resilience against potential future financial shocks.