Jacques J. Polak

Jacques J. Polak holds a PhD in economics from Amsterdam University (1937). He started his career working with Jan Tinbergen, under the auspices of the League of Nations, on an econometric model of the United States. He attended the 1944 Bretton Woods conference as a member of the Netherlands delegation; joined the staff of the Research and Statistics Department of the IMF in 1947; became the Director of that Department in 1958 and the Fund’s Economic Counsellor in 1966. After retiring from the Fund staff in 1980, he served for six years as a member of its Executive Board, representing a constituency of the Netherlands and four other countries.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Two British Initiatives for IMF Lending to its Members, 1960–1962

This paper describes the origin, evolution, and results of two initiatives taken by the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. Both initiatives aimed at facilitating large-scale lending by the IMF (or in close parallel to the IMF), primarily in support of the two reserve currencies of the international monetary system, the US dollar and sterling. The first initiative—of which there appears to be no previous record extant anywhere—achieved its objective, leading to three important changes in IMF policy, including the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB). The design of the second practically ensured its failure to win international support; but it provoked the United States into proposing a powerful study group on international liquidity which, seven years later, resulted in the creation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) facility in the IMF.

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