This book is a collection of eight papers presented at a seminar held in March 1985 . It provides an interesting study of the role of the International Monetary Fund in the midst of the turmoil of the international monetary system during the seventies and early eighties. The papers highlight several crucial but controversial issues of the system. These issues have yet to be resolved to the satisfaction of the members of the Fund.
The introduction by the editor gives a brief exposition of the papers and throws some light on the intricate issues of international finance . The most interesting aspect of the international monetary system is the gradual incursion, perhaps reluctantly, of the Fund into the domain of economic development. This has been brought about by the linkage of short-term credit provided by the Fund with the long-term finance obtained by the developing countries from the World Bank, governments, and the private capital market. The analysis underlying the changes in the system in terms of a less collective system, the privatization of the system and financial integration has been brilliantly done by Llewellyn in chapter 2. It is true that the financing requirements of developing countries would, very likely, remain substantial, as pointed out by the author (p. 41), but their reliance on private capital markets for meeting the liquidity and structural needs is open to serious question. An international monetary system assigning a private role to the supra-national financial institutions including the IMF and the World Bank along with the private capital market needs to be evolved which can address the funding requirements of developing countries and the debt problem.