International Monetary Fund Current Affairs - 2019

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Kristalina Georgieva appointed as new IMF chief

The Bulgarian Economist Christina Georgieva was appointed as the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina had served as Chief Executive in World Bank as well. Before becoming CEO of the bank in 2019, she had served in number of top positions in the Bank since 2008. In 2014, she served as Vice – President of European Commission. She had run the post of Secretary – General at the UN for a very short duration. Her tenure ended following a vote at the UN Security Council where Antonio Guterres gained its support.

She began her career at the World Bank in 1993. Her works and coordination towards disaster around the world in 2010 were applauded. It included floods in Pakistan, earthquake in Haiti and Chile, industrial accident at Ajka, Hungary and Romanian floods.


Georgieva was named “European of the year” in 2010. She was also awarded “EU Commissioner of the year” for her handling of humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and Haiti.

Responsibilities of IMF Chief

The responsibilities of IMF chief are defined in IMF’s Article of Agreement. According to the article, the chief shall coordinate the operating staff and the funds of IMF under an Executive board. He or she is responsible for appointment and dismissal of the staff of the Fund.

Selection Process of IMF Chief

The IMF chief is appointed by a 24 member Executive board. It is completely merit based. The directors of the board were allowed to file nominations for the post till 2011. After 2011, the appointments were based on managerial, diplomatic and professional skills of the director.

Indians in IMF

Indian born Gita Gopinath was the first Indian woman to hold a higher position in IMF. She joined IMF in 2018 as a Chief Economist. Before her the Ex – RBI chief Raghuram Rajan was the first Indian to hold the position of Chief Economic Advisor in the IMF.

Reports published by IMF

IMF publishes 2 major reports (1) World Economic Outlook – It is published biennially. It gives an overview and detailed analysis of the world economy by considering the issues of industrial countries, economies in the mode of transition and developing countries. (2) Global Financial Stability Report – It is also published twice a year. The report assesses stability of global financial market and emerging markets.

About IMF

IMF is an international organisation headquartered at Washington DC. It consists of 189 countries. IMF works towards global monetary cooperation, facilitates international trade and secures financial stability. It was formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference.

United States designates China a ‘Currency Manipulator’

United States has designated China a “currency manipulator”, after country’s central bank allowed Yuan (Chinese Currency) to fall against dollar. This move could escalate tense trade relations between two nations.

Key Highlights


During US Presidential elections in 2016, US President Donald Trump had promised to label China as a currency manipulator, but it was on hold until now as US Department of Treasury kept country on its watch list, declining to take any step. But now US Treasury Department has announced and determined that China is a ‘Currency Manipulator’.

US Aruguments:

US accused China of manipulating its currency to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade and that China still targets on continuing to receive hundreds of billions of dollars which it have been taking from US with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.

Further US treasury department also alleged that China has a long history of facilitating an undervalued currency through sustained, large-scale intervention in FOREX market.

The Trigger: This recent action by US to designate China as a ‘Currency Manipulator’ came after China allowed its yuan to weaken past key 7-per-dollar level for the 1st time in more than a decade.

China Arguments:

As per Central Bank of China depreciation in its currency was due to effects of unilateralist and trade-protectionist measures and expectations for tariffs against China.

Way Ahead: US will now engage with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to eliminate unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions. This move could further escalate tense trade relations between two nations.