All of this comes two years after an agreement between the fund’s members to double the total amount of quotas — resources that member countries are obliged to contribute. Since the U.S. government holds a significant portion of votes within the fund, its approval is necessary for the change to take effect.The proposal would lead to a permanent and historically unprecedented increase in resources available to the IMF — and, indeed, to any international organization. The sheer magnitude is staggering. If approved, it would give the IMF access to roughly $734 billion for its lending purposes, in addition to sizable amounts it can access through other channels.
So far, most commentators have focused on how the new quotas, which also determine the voting power of countries within the organization, are going to be allocated among member countries, increasing the relative weight of emerging economies. Yet, that is just a distraction from a historically unique increase in funding for any international bureaucracy.
The Treasury Department argues that the increase will not cost the American taxpayer anything. Treasury says the $65 billion, which would go toward an increased American quota at the fund, is to be simply reallocated from another funding commitment, which the government made in 2009 at the crisis G-20 summit in London and which Congress approved shortly thereafter.