Thematic Publication: Monetary Policy

IMF Loans to Hungary, 1996–2008

György Csáki
University Professor, Head of Department, Saint Stephen’s University, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2013/1 (p. 95-110.)


Summary: Hungary has been an IMF member since May 1982 and has since benefited from the IMF’s lending instruments on 11 occasions. The IMF loans supported economic transformation (in the period between 1988 and 1993), facilitated Hungary in overcoming the transformation recession (in 1996) and helped to tackle economic crisis (in 2008). This paper analyses the two latter IMF loans in order to provide background context to Hungary’s IMF negotiations, ongoing since November 2011.Ever since 1982, Hungary could always count on the efficient support of the IMF and – should this be necessary – this may be the case in the future as well. The Monetary Fund is a ‘lender of last resort’; it is never a good sign when a country is forced to turn to the IMF instead of market financing. This can only be avoided with an adequate economic policy that allows the country to find permanent and continuous external financing ‘with acceptable terms and conditions’.

Keywords: international financial system, IMF, economic policy

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) kód: F33, G23


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