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Vol 50 No 9

Published 1st May 2009

Harder cash but warmer words

As befits an institution that has just been voted a trillion dollar boost to its capital resources, the International Monetary Fund busily dispensed loans and policy advice at its spring meeting on 24-25 April in Washington.

It was the International Monetary Fund’s show in Washington. International finance ministers agreed to proposals to reshape the Fund, widen its mission and speed up plans to give developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America more votes on its Executive Board. For some, the progress is agonisingly slow. 'For how much longer can you sustain a position where Belgium and Luxembourg combined have more votes on your Executive Board than China?' a journalist asked IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

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