01 July 2009

IMF Bond Sales Mean Power Shift for Emerging Markets

Things are changing in the International Monetary Fund. Today, they will vote on plans to sell billions of dollars worth of bonds. This will help them to boost their coffers, so that they can continue to rescue faltering and troubled economies.

The bond sale is massively supported by the BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as they have long awaited a chance to redistribute the voting rights within the IMF.

China, especially, seems fed up with the US Dollar's strength and overall power as the global reserve currency. It wants a new reserve and has been calling for Special Drawing Rights to be used as this. SDRs were created in 1969 to support the then foreign exchange system, Bretton Woods. Now they act as an international asset base for the IMF member countries and their value is based upon a basket of main currencies.

The IMF itself has indicated that a change to the reserve currency is possible at some point in the future, and the power shifts from within its member countries is certainly being taken seriously by all. But for now, the US dollar remains at the forefront.

All G20 nations agreed to contribute to the IMF at the last summit (the USA alone bid $100 billion), but the BRIC countries favour bond buying to regular contributions. All four nations have indicated that they would purchase sizeable amounts of bonds.

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