Bulletin – December Quarter 2011 Recent Changes in IMF Lending Abstract

IMF lending has risen sharply in the wake of the global financial crisis from the lows in the mid 2000s. Despite increasing recently, the number of new IMF financing arrangements has been relatively small, but the average size of these arrangements is high by historical standards. Much of the new lending has been to Europe, which has resulted in marked changes in the geographical distribution of outstanding IMF loans. The terms on which lending has been made available have also changed in recent years, with the IMF implementing reforms aimed at making it easier for countries to access large loans, increasing its emphasis on the provision of precautionary financing, and streamlining its use of conditionality.

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