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Drive for IMF Funds Caught in Global Power Shift

Published: April 16, 2012
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Source: CNBC

Tensions among some of the world's leading economies have boiled up over a plan to raise new resources for the International Monetary Fund to contain the euro zone debt crisis, and a quest by emerging economies to win more say in the global lender.

World financial leaders gathering in Washington next week will focus on proposals for countries to contribute more money to the IMF so it is better prepared in case of fallout from any further escalation of Europe's debt problems.

Emerging market countries like China, Brazil and Russia are willing to provide more money for the IMF, but they want something in return: greater voting power.

It has become a hot issue given negotiations formally began this week on the next phase of IMF voting reforms to be completed in 2013.

The emerging-market push means Europe's voting share will likely be further diluted.

In January, the IMF said it would need $600 billion in new resources to help "innocent bystanders" who might be affected by economic and financial spillovers from Europe.

Earlier this week, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said it might not need as much money as it had thought because economic risks had waned.

On Friday, officials from the Group of 20 nations told Reuters the world's major economies were likely to agree to provide the IMF with somewhere between $400 billion and $500 billion.

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