Last week, the Managing Director of the IMF, Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn announced the Swiss Federal Department of Finance’s intentions “to establish a bilateral credit line of up to U.S.$10 billion to reinforce the lending capacity of the IMF.” Mr. Strauss-Kahn also stated that “[t]his important step demonstrates Switzerland’s commitment to the multilateral response to the economic crisis, including an increase in the IMF’s lending capacity. It will contribute significantly to strengthening the financial system by increasing confidence that the IMF’s resources will be sufficient to meet the financing needs of its member countries.”

Also last week, Mr. Strauss-Kahn welcomed Canada’s commitment to strengthen the IMF’s lending capabilities in the form of a US$10 billion loan. At present the IMF has received loans from Japan and the European Union. Last month, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and its central bank, Norges Bank, announced that they were in the process of exploring a proposal to contribute “up to 30 billion Norwegian kroner (about US$4.5 billion) of financial resources to the IMF to ensure that the Fund is capable of meeting the borrowing needs of its member countries that might arise in the current crisis.” Increasing the Fund’s lendable resources and receiving like contributions from other member countries was one of the action items addressed at the G-20 summit.