International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a treaty-based, voluntary association of countries based on their real or potential impacts on the world's economy. It currently controls assets amounting to US$215 billion and has 182 member countries. Unlike the World Bank, the other “pillar” of the world economy, the IMF has no subsidiaries or affiliates. Its highest authority resides with the Board of Governors (which meets annually), each of whom is appointed by a member country.

IMF membership has varied over time, as has its role and responsibilities in world affairs. The evolution of the IMF can roughly be divided into phases based on the degree of functionality, relevance, and shifting purpose. Initially, the IMF was established at the Bretton Woods Conference (along with the World Bank) ...

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