US Treasury Secretary Urges More Transparency at IMF, Advocates Release of All Article IV Reports

12 October 2009

US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, speaking October 4 in Istanbul at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting, called for more transparency at the International Monetary Fund.

Geithner said, “Moreover, greater transparency is critical to underpin the credibility and effectiveness of IMF surveillance. Since the crisis has taught us that no nation is immune, we call upon all IMF members to allow the publication of their annual Article IV reviews.”

The Fund is in the process of discussing possible changes to its disclosure policy, but has not released any proposed changes. Officials recently said the agency has no plans to disclose any proposed changes before the board meets to consider them.

Currently about 10 percent of IMF members permit disclosure of the Article IV reports. Most recently, China opted against allowing the release of its Article IV report.

According to a Reuters report by Simon Rabinovitch from Istanbul, “Efforts to repair strained ties between China and the International Monetary Fund made headway at the IMF’s semiannual meetings this week in Turkey.” Reuters said, “First and foremost, China is clear about what it does not want from the IMF: criticism of its controversial, tightly managed exchange rate policy.”

“Relations turned frosty when the IMF toughened its exchange-rate monitoring rules in 2007 and Beijing feared it was a ploy by the United States to get the IMF to push for a stronger yuan. China blocked the IMF’s annual assessment of the Chinese economy until the Fund reversed the rule change this year.”

 

By Toby McIntosh

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ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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