The World Bank and International Monetary Fund held their spring meeting April 14 to 18 in Washington, D.C. Both financial titans were created after World War II to foster economic cooperation and development around the globe. With 16.2% of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shares, the United States is the largest shareholder among the 187 nations who belong to the fund—even though its managing director has always been a European.
Remote to most Americans, the IMF has been in the headlines recently because of its role as one of the financial rescuers of three European nations whose economies collapsed last year. Under Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (the former French finance minister, who is considered the leading Socialist candidate for president of France in 2012), the IMF has joined with the European Union to sculpt bailout packages for Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Coupled with loans from the EU, the price tags on the bailout packages come to $157 billion for Greece, $122 billion for Ireland, and most recently, $116 billion for Portugal.
Obviously, these are quite substantial packages for the three economically devastated countries. They will become very relevant to U.S. taxpayers when they realize that, because we are the largest single contributor to the organization, and with Spain and Italy now Read more…