International Monetary Fund
Welcome to the International Monetary Fund. My name is Yashvardhan Bardoloi—Yash, for short—and I am thrilled to be serving as your Director for HNMUN 2019.
I am a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Applied Mathematics with Economics. I grew up in Hong Kong and am an Indian citizen. Model UN has been part of my life since I was a high school freshman; I love it for the rare balance it provides between substantive excellence and active social scenes. Some of my best friends and best memories can be traced back to Model UN. Aside from HNMUN, I staff our sister conference HMUN for high school delegates, and I also am a Director for our international conference HMUN China. I have directed committees at various regional and international conferences and was Chairman of the Board of Hong Kong MUN my senior year of high school. Outside of MUN, I am an active debater on Harvard’s parliamentary team and represented Hong Kong at the world championships. I also write an economics blog, Bardonomics, and am a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Economics. I also participate in a couple of research-based and pre-professional activities. To relax, I love reading, being outdoors on sunny days, and spending time with friends. And I’m always in the mood for a game of squash, table tennis, pool, foosball—you name it!
I very much look forward to facilitating debate and dialogue on the selected topics for the committee. These topics are of great practical and moral importance; a meaningful, well-informed and respectful discussion will make this committee a memorable and productive experience for all.
Yashvardhan Mehra Bardoloi
Director, International Monetary Fund
Harvard National Model United Nations 2019
Topic Area A: Discussing IMF Loan Conditionality
Where do sovereign governments go when they face a fiscal crisis? Since 1945, their response has often been to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund. Today, among the Fund’s most important tasks is the timely provision of loans to governments that require support in meeting their financial obligations. These loans are frequently provided interest-free and at a discount to the rate the government would have to pay in the international bond market. In exchange for the credit line, the IMF imposes conditions on its loans: economic policy adjustments that aim to rectify underlying weaknesses in the country’s financial system.
In this committee, we will discuss reforms that can be implemented by the IMF in setting conditions on its loans. How can we balance the desires of “creditor” nations—typically developed countries that rarely need assistance from the institution but whose funds are at risk when the IMF lends—and those of the “borrower” nations—usually developing countries? How can IMF conditionality be designed such that it is most respectful of a country’s unique social, political, cultural and economic situation? How can we ensure that IMF conditionality does not infringe upon national sovereignty? These questions, and many others, will be important to consider.
Topic Area B: The IMF’s Role in Mitigating the Economic Impact of Climate Change
Addressing climate change has not traditionally been within the IMF’s purview. However, with the sharp increase in global temperatures over the past half-century, the economic consequences of climate change are increasingly salient. Warmer climates are disproportionately impacting lower-income countries through reduced agricultural output, lower worker productivity, decreased investment and worse public health.
The IMF’s mandate extends beyond the provision of loans to countries: The Fund also provides technical assistance to countries lacking expertise in policymaking and helps monitor financial stability. What kind of assistance, both monetary and nonmonetary, can the IMF provide to low-income countries affected by climate change? What kinds of economic incentives and risk-sharing measures can be implemented to slow climate change and cushion its impact? With regard to climate change, what responsibilities do more developed countries have toward less developed ones?