Ivar Rooth

Ivar Rooth
2nd Managing Director of the IMF
In office
3 August 1951  3 October 1956
Preceded by Camille Gutt
Succeeded by Per Jacobsson
Governor of the Swedish National Bank
In office
Preceded by Victor Moll
Succeeded by Klas Böök
Personal details
Born (1888-11-02)2 November 1888
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 27 February 1972(1972-02-27) (aged 83)
Lidingö, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Alma mater Uppsala University
Profession Lawyer, economist

Ivar Rooth (2 November 1888 27 February 1972) was a Swedish lawyer and economist. He served as Governor of the Swedish National Bank from 1929 to 1948 and as the second head (Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1951 to 1956. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Bank of International Settlements.


He was born on 2 November 1888, in Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from Uppsala University with a Law degree in 1911.

In his early career he was: Solicitor for the Handelsbank (Commercial Bank) of Stockholm (1914); head of Bank's Commercial Credit Department (1915); Assistant Manager and Solicitor of Stockholm Mortgage Bank for several years; Governor of the Central Bank of Sweden (Sveriges Riksbank, 1929–1948); Director of the Bank of International Settlements (1931–1933 and 1937–1949). In 1951 he headed a mission to Iraq for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and on April 10 of the same year he was appointed Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board of the IMF, assuming his duties on 3 August 1951.

Rooth, in his first address to member countries as Managing Director of the IMF on 11 September 1951, stated that the Fund "sought removal or modification of exchange restrictions and other discriminatory practices" aimed at a freer flow of international trade and payments. Subsequently, general policy on use of IMF's resources was set forth. This initiated the IMF's policy of drawings in tranches. In 1952, in accordance with the Articles of Agreement, 5 years after the IMF began financial operations, annual consultations with members maintaining exchange restrictions under Article XIV were initiated. The IMF introduced a general framework for Stand-by Arrangements, and the criteria to be applied were standardized. Rooth's term as Managing Director of the IMF ended on 27 April 1956, but he accepted a request by the Executive Board to serve a further period ending on 3 October 1956.

Rooth was head of the Investment Committee of the United Nations Pension Fund from 1947 to 1961, and he was also head of the Currency Board in Kuwait from 1960 to 1962. After 1962 he stepped down and lived at Lidingö, Sweden, and occasionally wrote and gave lectures on economic affairs.

Rooth died in Sweden on 27 February 1972.[1]

He was the father of the physician Gösta Rooth.


Government offices
Preceded by
Victor Moll
Governor of the Swedish National Bank
Succeeded by
Klas Böök
Civic offices
Preceded by
Camille Gutt
Head of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by
Per Jacobsson
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