Any comments?

Brad De Long delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU
Sat Apr 8 15:19:56 PDT 2000

>Hello one and all,
>I received this email (forwarded by a mutual friend) by a puzzled
>World Bank employee who seems completely stunned by this massive
>anti-IMF/WB movement. Thought I'd forward it to the All-Knowing
>Economists and Others on the LBO list to see if anyone might have
>some comments that might enlighten him.
>It is, by the way, a response he wrote to one of the A16's
>propaganda statements.
>Any comments would be greatly appreciated and more than likely forwarded.
>Chris Doss

Well, he's by and large correct.

The A16 propaganda documents are by and large along the lines of the old Woody Allen joke: "'The food here is awful!' 'Yes, and such small portions!'"

The things that are wrong with the IMF and the World Bank are largely the result of the fact that they are not large *enough*--that they do not have enough resources to give and loan, and that their actions are thus geared to making sure that, first of all, they get repaid by the countries they loan to.

Get rid of the IMF and the World Bank, and "structural adjustment" becomes not gentler but harsher, financial crises become not less but more frequent, and not shallower but deeper...

Brad DeLong --

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- "Now 'in the long run' this [way of summarizing the quantity theory of money] is probably true.... But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. **In the long run** we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again."

--J.M. Keynes -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- J. Bradford De Long; Professor of Economics, U.C. Berkeley; Co-Editor, Journal of Economic Perspectives. Dept. of Economics, U.C. Berkeley, #3880 Berkeley, CA 94720-3880 (510) 643-4027; (925) 283-2709 phones (510) 642-6615; (925) 283-3897 faxes <delong at>

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