James Boughton

James Boughton is Historian of the International Monetary Fund and, since 2001, Assistant Director in the Policy Development and Review Department at the IMF. From 1981 until he was named Historian in 1992, he held various positions in the IMF Research Department. Dr. Boughton holds a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University, and before joining the IMF staff, he was Professor of Economics at Indiana University and had served as an economist at the OECD in Paris. His publications include a textbook on money and banking, a book on the U.S. Federal funds market, two IMF books that he co-edited, and articles in professional journals on international finance, monetary theory and policy, international policy coordination, and the history of economic thought. His latest book, Silent Revolution, on the history of the IMF from 1979 to 1989, was published in October 2001. He is currently working on a sequel.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Does the World Need a Universal Financial Institution?

All financial institutions specialize, in dimensions that may include categories of assets and liabilities, types of services offered, customer demographics, and geographic coverage. The International Monetary Fund is the only international financial institution that is truly universal in its geographic scope, prepared to lend on request to virtually any country in the world. Why has this status come about? What are its costs and benefits? Is it an appropriate model for a world where macroeconomic imbalances, financial crises, and disparities in economic development must compete for attention and resources?

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