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Against the background of rapid growth of international reserves since 2000 and concerns expressed by the IMF about the potential implications for the stability of the international monetary system, this evaluation focuses on two aspects of the IMF's concerns and advice. First, it examines the origin, rationale, and robustness of the IMF's analysis of the effects of excessive reserve accumulation on the stability of the international monetary system. Second, it assesses the conceptual underpinnings and quality of the advice on reserve adequacy in the context of bilateral surveillance.
The evaluation argues that the focus on reserve accumulation as a risk for the international monetary system was not helpful in that it stressed the symptom of problems rather than the underlying causes. With respect to reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance, the evaluation identifies cases where the IMF's analysis and advice could have been improved, notably by embedding the assessment of reserve adequacy in a broader analysis of countries' internal and external stability.
Hans Genberg joined the Independent Evaluation Office as an assistant director in August 2010. Prior to that he was a visiting advisor for one year at the representative office for Asia and the Pacific of the Bank for International Settlements after having been executive director, research at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and director of the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research since February 2005. Before joining the HKMA he was professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. A Swedish national, Genberg holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.
Policymakers, academics and the general public.
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