special drawing rights (SDR)

Popular Terms
International financing instrument created in 1970 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to coincide with the disfavor of the US dollar as the principal currency of the world trade. Also called paper gold, an SDR is neither paper nor gold but an accounting entry. It is not backed by any currency or precious metal, and is used only among governments and IMF for balance Of payments settlements. SDRs are a measure of a country's reserve assets with IMF and, whereas not 'money' in the strict sense, have several characteristics of money as interest bearing assets, store of value, and means of settling indebtedness.
They are distributed among all member states of IMF in proportion to each member's quota of IMF dues based on the member's GNP. Used mainly to supplement gold and convertible (hard) currencies in maintaining stability of foreign exchange markets, SDRs are valued on the basis of the value of a basket of 16 major currencies with periodically adjusted weightage reflecting each currency's importance in global trade.

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