The Oil-producing Gulf States, the IMF and the International Financial Crisis

Bessma Momani

Published: March 2009

As the finance-strapped International Monetary Fund (IMF) was placed at the centre of coordinating funding and offering ideas to navigate out of the international financial crisis, it became clear that the international community needed to reinvigorate the emerging market economies’ role in the organisation and in the broader international financial architecture. At the time of the Group of 20 (G20) meetings, the Gulf states were viewed as likely contributors to IMF liquidity. Despite the UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s visit to the Gulf in November 2008, and his claim that the Gulf would assist in an injection of liquidity into the IMF, the Saudi rulers decided to go empty-handed to the G20 meetings in Washington. Unlike the 1970s, when the Gulf came to the rescue of the western and international banking system, today Gulf rulers are more responsive to a new class that is more scrutinising of petrodollar recycling.

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