Close the IMF, open up trade finance (was Re: Any comments?)

Patrick Bond pbond at
Fri Apr 21 17:24:07 PDT 2000

> From: Brad De Long <delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU>
> But if you hit the wall, and if there's no IMF to loan you anything,
> then what do you do? You have your freedom of action, you just have
> no money to pay for your imports...

I thought we went over all this in late December, Brad, and you conceded that closing the IMF wasn't such a ridiculous strategy. To answer your question, ideally, you focus more attention on national export-import banks which finance trade from their own clients (exporters) on reasonable terms. There are a lot out there competing against each other, and a pretty good citizens/eco movement trying to reform them. Surely they represent a more advantageous power relationship for a country willing to default on its debt, than going to the central cop, the IMF. South Africa in 1985, Brazil in 1987 and Malaysia in 1998 might be enlightening case studies of what, under such conditions, you can do right and what might go wrong if you're naughty to the int'l financial community but still want short-medium term trade finance.

Patrick Bond email: pbond at * phone: 2711-614-8088 home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094 South Africa work: University of the Witwatersrand Graduate School of Public and Development Management PO Box 601, Wits 2050, South Africa email: bondp at phone: 2711-488-5917 * fax: 2711-484-2729

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