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G-20 agrees on changes for IMF

Stephen Beard Sep 25, 2009
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STeve Chiotakis: Still, ensuring and sustaining economic recovery remains the first priority at the summit of the world’s richest nations and emerging powers. One thing getting a lot of attention is the future of the International Monetary Fund. European press reports say Britain and France are upset about an American plan to shake-up the IMF. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The U.S. would like the IMF to reflect the global shift in economic power. It wants emerging economies like China and India to have a bigger say in the world’s main financial body. The IMF oversees the global financial system and bails out countries in trouble.

Britain and France had warmly welcomed America’s planned reform… until they discovered that as a result they would lose their seats on the IMF ‘s board of directors.

Graham Mather of the European Policy Forum says it’s not surprising the Brits and the French are up in arms:

Graham Mather: No country likes to see itself excluded from an international gathering. It’s a great blow to national prestige.

But, he says, the planned downgrade is understandable. Both the Brits and the French wield influence in the IMF out of all proportion to their economic power. They each have more votes than China, while the Chinese economy is now roughly 50 percent bigger than either of theirs.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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