Hit by fallout from the financial meltdown, the world’s poorest nations are eyeing a stash of gold owned by the International Monetary Fund.
Ahead of weekend meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, officials from developing nations and anti-poverty advocates are lobbying to get some of the billions of dollars in profits the IMF could reap if it sold a chunk of its vast holdings of gold.
In recent years, business at the world’s lender of last resort has been slow. Countries weren’t borrowing.
Operational funds were down. Looking to its budgetary needs, the IMF board last May approved a broad financial overhaul strategy to ensure the soundness of the fund over time.
Part of the plan involves selling one-eighth of its stash of 103.4 million ounces of gold. Money from the sale would be used as a source of income to pay operational expenses at the fund.