IMF Reform Rejected by US Congress

ongress has rejected a funding request from the Obama administration that would have overhauled the International Monetary Fund. The action leaves the 188-nation group without additional resources and blocks an increase in voting power for China and other emerging markets.

The proposal was left out of the $1.01 trillion spending bill that congressional negotiators approved Monday. Both the Obama administration and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde expressed disappointment but pledged to keep working to win congressional support.

The overhaul was adopted by the IMF’s governing board in 2010. The plan would have doubled the IMF’s lending capacity to about $733 billion.

The IMF uses its resources to make loans to countries facing financial difficulties. The plan would have also increased the voting power of emerging-market countries, such as China, Brazil and India. At the same time, it would trim the voting shares now held by some Western European nations.

Approval by Congress is the final remaining action needed to put the overhaul into effect. The United States would remain the IMF’s largest shareholder with the voting power to block actions it did not support.

The administration had asked Congress in the budget bill to shift $63 billion in emergency loans the United States made to the IMF in 2009 to the agency’s general resources account to pay for America’s part of the increase in IMF resources. The administration argued that this shift would not require any new financial support from the United States.

But House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Kentucky, told reporters Tuesday that the IMF provision was left out of the bill because “it’s a huge monetary item, fiscally — $63 billion. It’s no small matter.”

via Mainichi/a>

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza