Evaluating the IMF’s Performance in the Global Financial Crisis
The 2008 global financial crisis had a dramatic impact on the International Monetary Fund, moving it back to the center stage of global economic governance after a period where it had lost relevance and legitimacy. This paper evaluates the IMF’s crisis-related performance by examining its ex ante, midterm, and ex-post output performance. Output performance is a useful metric for evaluating the IMF’s ability to predict the crisis through its surveillance; respond, by lending quickly and effectively; and revise its policies and procedures in order to be better prepared to prevent the next crisis. The IMF’s performance was mixed. It did a poor job addressing global imbalances ahead of the crisis through its surveillance activities, and an excellent job acting quickly and decisively in the first days and months of the crisis. In the third category a positive set of institutional reforms has been overshadowed by the absence of broader governance reforms.