Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents The United States, the largest and
most influential shareholder in
the International Monetary Fund,
lately has been its most trouble-
some too. In 2010 the world
agreed to expand the IMF s lend-
ing power and rejigger its voting
rights. Because Congress has not approved Amer-
ica s contribution to the proposed increase in capital,
however, the reforms have yet to take effect. In
December Congress once again passed a budget
without paying up.
The rest of the world is growing impatient. The
IMF s capital has been steadily shrinking relative
to the world economy: Its clout is half what it was
in 2000. Moreover, the giants of the emerging
markets-Brazil, China and India-have only 8 per
cent of the voting rights, even though they account
for 19 per cent of global output.
On January 15 Christine Lagarde, the IMF s man-
aging director, expressed her "profound disap-
pointment" with America and resolved to explore
The long-on-hold reforms would double the
IMF s capital-or "quota," in the fund s jargon-to
US$677 billion. Its additional line of credit with
its members, dubbed the "New Arrangements to
Borrow" or NAB, would shrink. Its total lending
capacity would be roughly similar to the current
US$1 trillion, but would be more reliable, since the
capital increase would be permanent whereas mem-
bers must renew the NAB every six months. About
6.0 per cent of the fund s voting shares would
shift to emerging markets, in particular Brazil,
China and India, along with two seats on the IMF s
board that currently are held by European coun-
President Barack Obama s administration has
pressed for the increase, but Republicans, who
have controlled the House of Representatives since
2011, have balked, arguing that an increase in the
IMF s lending capacity would be an invitation to
fiscal recklessness. Now that the Republicans control
the Senate as well, approval is even less likely.
In theory the IMF could sidestep Congress by
leaving America out of the capital-raising. That
would need to be approved by 85 per cent of share-
holders, however, and America has 16.75 per cent
of the votes.
One reason it might vote no is that, in that case,
its shareholding would drop below 15 per cent,
costing it its veto. It is unlikely to agree to such
a loss of say, especially when Republicans already
are accusing Obama of diminishing America s
standing in the world.
That leaves a more modest option: allowing
emerging markets quotas to increase by enough
to give them more say but not by so much as to
reduce America s share below 15 per cent.
The IMF s board has begun studying its options,
and on January 28 recommended that its mem-
bership agree on something by the end of June.
These interim steps would not be a substitute for
the main reform package, for which there is no
deadline, but the sense of urgency is growing.
The rash of recent bailouts in Europe has added
to the strain on the IMF A big share of its resources,
US$268 billion, has been lent out or committed.
Worse, the fact that its shareholdings do not reflect
emerging markets growing clout undermines its
legitimacy and fuels interest in alternatives, such
as a BRICs-backed bank to finance infrastructure
or bilateral agreements to provide short-term
By the time America gets around to approving
the IMF s reforms, it may have become a much
less important institution.
@2015 The Economist Newspaper Ltd. Dis-
tributed by the New York Times Syndicate
FEBRUARY 2015 • WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
THE ECONOMIST | BG21
Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago ('the Authority')
invites suitably qualified firms and individuals to submit
proposals for leasing and developing land at the Piarco
AeroPark for a Home Furnishings retail centre. This is an
attractive opportunity to operate in one of the most
high-traffic areas in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Piarco AeroPark is a mixed use business park just north
of the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Piarco AeroPark is the first aerotropolis or airport city in
the Caribbean. It will contain zones for various activities
Copies of the RFP can be obtained from December 30th
2014 between 8:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. at the Cashier's
Booth, Airports Authority Administration Centre, Piarco
International Airport, South Terminal, Golden Grove Road,
Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago upon payment of a non
refundable fee of US$200.00 plus VAT.
A Pre-Proposal Conference and Facility Tour will take
place at 10:00a.m. on January 28th 2015 at the following
Proposers and their representatives are encouraged to attend
the Facility Tour to acquaint themselves with the conditions
therein which may influence their proposals.
The deadline for submission of proposals is February 27th
2015 at 2:00p.m. AST. Late submissions will not be
The Authority does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any
Questions or requests for further information should be
The Secretary Tenders Committee
The subject line should read
Development of a
HOME FURNISHINGS RETAIL CENTRE
at the Piarco AeroPark
TrINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Reforming the IMF:
Getting around Uncle Sam
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