Lew in Washington, May 2015.
Carlos Barria / REUTERS

When U.S. President Barack Obama joined other global leaders at the G-20 summit in Turkey in November 2015, the United States was in the final stages of a multiyear effort to secure the approval of a set of important reforms to the International Monetary Fund. The reforms, negotiated in 2010 with strong U.S. leadership, were designed to double the organization’s core financial resources to combat financial crises and to modernize its governance by increasing the voting shares of emerging-market economies while maintaining a decisive U.S. voice. But their implementation had been on hold for several years, awaiting approval

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