What Do Middle-Income Countries Want from the IMF as They Look to Recover from the Pandemic?


    This note is not meant be a comprehensive blueprint for reform of the IMF and/or its lending facilities, particularly those accessed by MICs. And clearly other global factors have played into the demand for IMF resources, such as the huge monetary impulse during the pandemic from the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and other central banks. But we hope to provoke a discussion about why, during a time of an unparalleled global economic crisis, the IMF’s regular balance sheet has been largely untapped. There is no one cause, but a complex set of rules, principles, perceptions, misperceptions, and guidelines that bind the IMF and its member countries into positions where a pool of badly need capital sits largely dormant. As the saying goes, let’s not waste a good crisis—perhaps the pandemic will bring about a detailed and multipronged examination of the IMF’s lending instruments that is long overdue.