The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is central to governance of the international financial system. It has long been recognized that the IMF possesses greater resources and authority than other international organizations. When Randall Stone called the IMF ‘the most powerful international institution in history’ (2002, 1) he echoed sentiments expressed by Cheryl Payer 30 years prior: ‘the International Monetary Fund is the most powerful supranational government in the world today’ (1974, ix). The IMF’s power—like that of any actor in world politics—has both material and social sources. Aside from perhaps one state (the USA) and one supranational organization (the European Union—EU), there is no other governmental or intergovernmental player that can match the IMF in terms of command of material resources. From January 2002 to October 2012 the Fund made US $615,500m. available to member states in economic distress.