Bernes: IMF Leadership and Coordination Roles in the Response to the Global Financial and Economic Crisis

From the Executive Summary:

This paper explores the IMF’s leadership and coordination roles in the global response to the financial and economic crisis. It is principally based on interviews with country authorities, IMF staff and staff of other international organizations and reflects their perceptions. The paper finds that many authorities perceive that the IMF played an important role in responding to the crisis by calling for a concerted fiscal stimulus in 2008–09, as well as in designing programs and putting together lending packages for affected emerging market economies. The IMF also led the effort to obtain bilateral borrowing agreements to support lending, inter alia, to euro area countries. Beyond this, the IMF was seen by many authorities as having played an effective but secondary role to that of the G20’s leadership in crystallizing responses to the crisis. Earlier failures in Fund surveillance and in its “standing” or “legitimacy” with advanced economies and major emerging markets constrained its ability to play a central coordinating role in the response to the crisis.

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