IMF OKs $11B Gold Sale

Global lender will also cut staff, change biz model
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 2:40 AM CDT
International Monetery Fund Managing Director, France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn, left, shakes hands with his outgoing predecessor, Spain's Rodrigo de Rato, athe IMF's Washington headquarters.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The International Monetary Fund has approved the sale of 400 tons of gold from its massive reserves for an expected $11 billion, the Financial Times reports. The global lender also plans to slash up to 15% of its workforce to improve its finances, which have been hit by falling demand for emergency loans. The IMF is aiming to move away from lending to take on a more advisory role.

The sale, which must be approved by the US Congress and legislatures in other countries with IMF membership, will be carried out over several years to avoid playing havoc with the already volatile price of gold. The gold sale represents an eighth of IMF's reserves. One expert said the sale was "an encouraging move," although there is some disagreement on how the revenue should be spent.