Sunday, February 18, 2007


Will the G-8 correct the Bretton Woods Institutions?

Both the G-8 and G-20 seem very concerned about the ineffectiveness of the Bretton Woods Institutions. Are they serious? In this connection, documents on the site of the Bretton Woods Project make interesting reading.

We learn in one case of the IMF's (key Bretton Woods Institution) attempt in 2001, no doubt because of growing accusations of serious bias in its dealings, to convince the world that it operates impartially. The International Monetary Fund's Executive Board therefore introduced the mechanism of the Independent Evaluation Office - a form of audit. The Office was mandated to operate independently of IMF management and at arm's length from the IMF's Executive Board.

In September 2006, the IEO published a report An Evaluation of the IMF's Multilateral Surveillance. The report emphasised the need for the IMF to persuade effectively and widely, and thought it should distribute not only raw information, but informed analysis.

The IEO also recommended that the IMF would get its message across better by interacting more with intergovernmental groups, particularly the G-7/8 and the G-20. However the IMF disregarded this advice.

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