A Non-Definitive Guide to the IMF: A review article
Published: June 2007
The recent book by James R. Vreeland, The International Monetary Fund: Politics of Conditional Lending, is meant to provide “a definitive guide to the organization”. This review article argues that it falls well short of this ambitious aim. It is already somewhat dated. It is almost entirely about IMF lending, largely neglecting surveillance, arguably the Fund’s most important activity. And although it provides a useful survey of the literature, its critique of IMF lending is based on interpretations of the empirical evidence and arguments of some IMF critics many of which are questionable. The book also suffers from various confusions and misunderstandings. It is therefore an unreliable guide to the organization.