IMF surcharges: A necessary tool or counter-productive obstacle to a just and green recovery?

05 October 2021

Since the Asian financial crisis, the IMF has sought to accumulate precautionary balances and disincentivise countries from an over-reliance on IMF financing by adding a surcharge to borrowing costs in certain circumstances.

Surcharges have become the IMF’s largest source of revenue and have added billions to the debt of states struggling to respond to Covid-19 pandemic. This session will explore their governance and resourcing implications and investigate whether they are necessary or, as some states claim, discriminatory and at odds with the IMF’s stated objective of assisting member countries to protect the most vulnerable and pursue an inclusive and sustainable recovery.


  • Jayati Ghosh, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University
  • Marilou Uy, G24 - moderator
  • Martin Abeles, ECLAC/CEPAL
  • Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic and Policy Research

See the recording here.

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