Commentary Type

Greece and the International Monetary Fund

Anna Gelpern (PIIE)

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives


Chairman Barr, Ranking Member Moore, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you on the evolving role of the International Monetary Fund (“IMF” or the “Fund”) in sovereign debt crises, and the implications of its involvement in Greece. In my research on sovereign debt management and financial crises, the IMF has emerged as a central element of the global crisis response and restructuring framework. It is fair to say that the Greek crisis has tested it like no other. The IMF has learned from this experience, and has adapted its policies in response to criticism—just as it had in the 1980s and 1990s—so that it remains an indispensable part of the sovereign debt restructuring regime today. I believe that a strong and independent IMF is very much in the U.S. interest and, on balance, in the interest of the citizens of crisis-stricken countries. Of course, there is scope for reform.

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