IMF | Tue, Jun 4, 2019
by Martin Wolf
Martin Wolf is the associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times. He is a contributing author to the Bretton Woods@75 Compendium, a collection of forward-looking essays written by the Bretton Woods Committee’s widely respected and influential membership and network. Our Author Spotlight series highlights the thought leadership of contributing authors to the Bretton Woods@75 initiative: a global dialogue to honor 75 years of economic progress and to revitalize the spirit of Bretton Woods now and for the future.
The world is changing. The IMF is changing with it. The question, however, is not only how it needs to change if it is to remain relevant. It is also whether the political environment will allow it to remain relevant. The IMF is built on a commitment to cooperation among member countries. That commitment is on the wane. But the countries of the world might rediscover its importance. If so, they will find the Fund an invaluable instrument. The IMF cannot ensure that outcome. But it can, and must, prepare for it. To its credit, it is doing so.
The world that surrounds the Fund has changed, or is changing, in several crucial respects.