International Monetary Fund
(IMF)
   The IMF was established by 44 countries at the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944 and came into effect on 27 December 1945. It was intended to prevent a recurrence of the international economic instability of the 1930s by encouraging international monetary cooperation and the maintenance of exchange rates. The fund was established to provide aid to enable countries to maintain the value of their currencies in times of crisis. It commenced operations in 1946 with around $8 billion in funds from member nations. A weighted voting system that allocated votes according to the size of each country’s contribution gave the United States the largest voting share.
   The Soviet Union refused to join the IMF, but after Soviet collapse in the 1980s, the IMF played a major role in distributing Western aid to Russia and other former eastern bloc countries. The IMF was also instrumental in the post-Cold War era for the financial rescue of Mexico in 1994 and 1995 and handling of the Asian economic crisis of 1998. As of 2007 the IMF had 185 members.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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