The world has changed in important ways since the late 1970s when Fund surveillance started: capital flows now dwarf trade flows, many members are integrated into world capital markets, and the interconnectedness of financial sectors has increased, allowing rapid transmission of crises across the globe. Yet, the way the Fund undertakes surveillance has not changed very much and is pretty much the same for all members, systemic and non-systemic. The increasing financial interconnectedness of countries, as demonstrated by the recent crisis which originated in advanced systemic countries, has implications for surveillance—both substance (what surveillance should do) and modalities (how to do it).
On April 26, 2010, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) co-hosted a private half-day roundtable to discuss modernizing the fund’s surveillance work. Approximately 40 leading international economists, academics, policymakers, private sector executives and civil society representatives from around the world gathered to discuss and debate, under Chatham House Rule, reforms to the IMF’s mandate that would enable it to more effectively promote the stability of the global monetary and financial system.