[lbo-talk] liberal austerity

Politicus E. epoliticus at gmail.com
Fri Mar 27 06:54:48 PDT 2009

A new avatar of IMF conditionality is born. I am vacillating over what slogan to use to describe this avatar: Perhaps "the first time was a tragedy, but the second time is a farce," or "Keynesianism for the rich, monetarism for the poor."

"... The IMF aims to ensure that conditions linked to IMF loan disbursements are focused and adequately tailored to the varying strengths of countries’ policies and fundamentals. In the past, IMF loans often had too many conditions that were insufficiently focused on core objectives.

This modernization is to be achieved in two key ways. First the IMF will rely more on pre-set qualification criteria (ex-ante conditionality) where appropriate rather than on traditional (ex post) conditionality as the basis for providing countries access to Fund resources. This principle is embodied in a new Flexible Credit Line. Second, implementation of structural policies in IMF-supported programs will from now on be monitored in the context of program reviews, rather than through the use of structural performance criteria, which will be discontinued in all Fund arrangements, including those with low-income countries. While structural reforms will continue to be integral to Fund-supported programs where needed, their monitoring will be done in a way that reduces stigma, as countries will no longer need formal waivers if they fail to meet a structural reform by a particular date ..." http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2009/pr0985.htm

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