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Word Count: 1,218
The raging debate regarding the supposed failings of the International Monetary Fund or IMF is one that is so deep-rooted and filled with differing agendas that it would be impossible to do it justice in just 1000 words My objective is to cover the main issues of the debate and form my own opinions from various sources and viewpoints of the situation through the medium of this essay To begin the IMF was established in its own words IMF 2002 to prevent crises in the system through monitoring lending and giving technical assistance to any of its 184 member countries In this sense it is unique acting as the central institution of the international monetary system and enabling trade between its members It was set up by treaty in 1945 creating a specialised agency of the United Nations and provides a fund which can be tapped by the members when they need and on certain conditions often that the country must adopt supposedly sound economic policies set out by the IMF itself There are a few grey areas surrounding the structure of the IMF and what its principles are I will deal with these before the more in-depth and specific issues Global Exchange GE 2001 labelled the IMF undemocratic due firstly to its structure whereby the richer countries seem to have more voting power as they invest heavily into the fund itself This is unfair on continents such as Africa who receive a high proportion of help but dont get much input or voting right However just like a shareholder in a business the more you invest the more control you demand and it is also often viewed that these countries ie UK USA have better decision-making skills than their less wealthy counterparts although this is called into question Secondly the fund is not fair to taxpayers of the member countries who pay into the fund neither those taxpayers who elect governments on
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