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International Monetary Fund


One of the fruits of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944. The Fund was formed in 1946 and began to operate in 1947. Its object is to maintain and stabilize rates of exchange and facilitate multilateral clearing systems, and also to eliminate unnecessary restrictions on foreign trade. It has the power to advance money to countries in balance of payment difficulties: it will supply a country with the currency it needs in return for that country's own currency There is a repayment period of about five years. It also gives countries credit guarantees, that is, without actually lending, it agrees to lend, if asked. These facilities are obviously only available to member couny y contributions according to an estimate of contributions according to an estimate of the higher the voting rights. The amount paid in is partly in gold and partly in the currency of the country.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.