Summary: The paper analyses the rapid growth of borrowing of the International Monetary Fund during the global financial and economic crisis. According to the Articles of Agreement of the IMF, the basis of its financial resources consists of its own funds created from paid-in capital (quotas) by the Member States. Only if it appears to be that those resources are not sufficient for its ongoing financial operations, the Fund has a possibility to borrow. However, due to the large growth of demand for the Fund’s resources induced by the global financial and economic crisis since 2008, the dominant position in the structure of its financial resources has been overtaken by borrowing on bilateral and multilateral grounds. The aim of this paper is to examine the reasons why borrowing has by far overgrown the role of supplementary source of the IMF resources during the crisis. The paper starts from the hypothesis that the reasons are of institutional nature since the very method of decision making on overall quota increase did not leave any room for a rapid reaction. Namely, the IMF could only respond quickly and effectively to the sharply increased demand of the Member States hit by the crisis by relying on borrowing. The one hundred percent increase in credit potential of the Fund, its scale unprecedented in the seventy-year long history of the IMF operations, would not have been possible had it waited for the realization of the decision on general quotas increase within their, fourteenth in the row, review.