Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2008 (Revised November 2011)

The International Monetary Fund in Crisis

by Rawi Abdelal, David Moss and Eugene Kintgen


When Dominique Strauss-Kahn became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in late 2007, he faced a number of significant changes. The organization had lost much of its legitimacy over the previous decade, and countries seemed increasingly reluctant to borrow from the Fund. Developing countries had increased their foreign exchange reserves, which reduced their reliance on potential IMF support packages. Furthermore, the IMF found itself unable to influence the macroeconomic policies of the United States and China in order to reduce global current account imbalances, and developing world countries complained that they were underrepresented at the Fund. As the IMF's new Managing Director, Strauss-Kahn had to decide how best to address these challenges and in what direction to steer the Fund.

Keywords: History; Globalized Economies and Regions; Problems and Challenges; Developing Countries and Economies; Borrowing and Debt; Government and Politics; Financial Institutions; Business Strategy; Macroeconomics; Financial Services Industry;


Abdelal, Rawi, David Moss, and Eugene Kintgen. "The International Monetary Fund in Crisis." Harvard Business School Case 708-035, February 2008. (Revised November 2011.)