Sooooo…all it takes is the head of the IMF getting arrested for sexual assault for people to get curious as to what the IMF actually is? Fortunately, NPR’s Planet Money gives a nice overview of the International Monetary Fund:
You can think of it sort of like a credit union for countries, says Eswar Prasad, a former IMF economist who now works at Cornell and the Brookings Institution. Its members — countries from around the world — put money in. And the credit union lends that money out to members that need it.
The article goes into much more useful detail about the evolution of the IMF’s purpose and such. The part that is most currently relevant is that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been very lenient with Greece not being able to keep up with the terms of its loan from the IMF (remember how Greece is up a creek financially?), so Greece could get pretty screwed if someone else comes in to take over for DSK.
Lastly, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear, economists do it with CONSENTING models, mkay?