December 07, 2018

On a snowy day in November, Busch School students visited The International Monetary Fund (IMF). The trip, sponsored by the newly formed International Business Club, was organized by professors Dr. Anthony Cannizzaro and Dr. Mark Michalski.

Students learned about the important role that the IMF plays in the international economic system. Dr. Cannizzaro, a political economist who heads the Busch School’s international business program, explained, “the IMF is a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC tasked with promoting stability in the international monetary system”.

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During the visit, financial economist Dr. Rina Bhattacharya discussed how the IMF promotes stability in the international financial system through monitoring the financial health of the global economy, lending to countries facing economic challenges, and sharing their expertise with developing country governments.

IMF assistance often includes what is called “conditionality”, which represents an agreement between the country and the fund to make policy and governance reforms to prevent future crises. Sophomore international business major Hannah Herron found this concept to be interesting, noting “they ensure that countries they are lending to have strict codes and laws to prevent corruption to ensure proper use of their funds”.  

Students also had a rare question and answer session with First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton, second in command at the Fund after Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Mr. Lipton discussed the evolution of the IMF overtime, their current outlook on the global economy, and some of the new initiatives the IMF is pursuing. Busch School International Business major Jess Shelton described the experience as "eye opening", and added that  "it really helped me gain a better appreciation for the social and financial workings of the global economy".

"I'm extremely proud of all of our students that braved the elements to join us at the IMF,” said Dr. Cannizzaro. “They showed exceptional professionalism and respect for our hosts. At the same time, they were not afraid to ask some challenging and thought-provoking questions of Deputy Director Lipton".

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