This Working Paper begins with the controversial subject of International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality. The arguments and counter-arguments reviewed in the previous ODI paper on this subject remain unresolved. One reason for this is the dearth of systematic information on the content of the Fund's approach to stabilisation. The Fund itself has not chosen, or felt able, to provide much public information on this subject. However, it is beginning to adopt a more open posture. In consequence, much of the argument has either been very general or has been about specific cases which may or may not be representative of the general case. This paper attempts to fill the factual vacuum; to describe and analyse the content of Fund stabilisation programmes, and to examine the intellectual underpinnings of these.