Washington Post on A16

Seth Ackerman SAckerman at FAIR.org
Wed Apr 19 18:14:48 PDT 2000

Brad De Long wrote:

> Damned if I understand why Sachs signed the Meltzer Report. His beef
> (and my beef) with the IMF in Mexico and East Asia is that it didn't
> loan *enough* money and didn't loan it for long *enough* periods of
> time, and that it required changes in domestic policy on the
> periphery that were at best irrelevant--for the crisis was made not
> on the periphery but in the minds of people in Manhattan.

That's right: For example, the IMF required Korea to open up its financial sector to foreign ownership, no?

But why did the IMF attach those conditions? Was it simply misguided policy, based on flawed analysis? Or was it that the IMF was advancing the interests of what Jagdish Bhaghwati calls the Wall Street-Treasury-IMF complex?

This goes to the heart of the debate over whether the IMF should be reformed or abolished: Are the Fund's "mistakes" the consequence of misguided policy, or of a fundamental conflict between the interests of its shareholders and those of the countries it lends to?


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