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Date: 2024-03-01 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00000250

Aljaxeera English ... Empire
The IMF on trial

Can the International Monetary Fund recover its lost credibility and fix the world economy?

The IMF and the World Bank Group have maintained a powerful position in the global financial system and the control of economic development for more than 60 years. Increasingly their performance has been criticized, but they have remained in their powerful controlling position. I have worked as a World Bank consultant, and have collaborated with IMF teams in various countries round the world, and, to be quite frank, their field analysis is quite pedestrian, if not just plain wrong. They do a surprisingly good job of making their work look good, and get away with it, because so few have the data and resources needed to challenge their positions or conclusions. This has to change!

Empire asks: do we still need the IMF? Can the International Monetary Fund recover its lost credibility and fix the world economy?

The world is undergoing seismic economic changes, from the international financial crisis to the shifting balance of power between developed and developing countries.

GUESTS

Professor Alex Callinicos, director of European Studies, King's College London and author of 'Bonfire Of Illusions'

Ann Pettifor, fellow, at the New Economics Foundation and author of 'The Coming First World Debt Crisis'

Georges Corm, former Lebanese finance minister and former special consultant, World Bank

Dr Mario Blejer, former governor, Argentine Central Bank and former advisor, Bank Of England

INTERVIEWEES

Christine Lagarde, managing director, International Monetary Fund

Professor Alan Cibils, chair, Political Economy, Universidad Nacional Sarmiento

In this new world order the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the most prestigious and powerful international economic organisation on the planet, is reduced to a mere advisor, even spectator.

This bastion of capitalist ideologies and neo-liberal policies is coming under attack from all sides.

The developing world accuses the IMF of exploitation and favouritism, and the current scandals have only added to their woes. And the developing world refuses to be treated by the IMF as if was merely developing.

But in the last three years the global economy has shifted and the old divides between east and west, north and south have become blurred. Many nations are looking at what the fund has to offer and are increasingly saying, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'

The IMF talks about reform, but is it empty rhetoric? Will it or can it change to reflect the new reality?

And more importantly, with bailouts, defaults and rich nations living in a state of permanent crisis, are the IMF's free-market policies part of the solution, or just perpetuating the problems?


Empire
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2011 11:12
The text being discussed is available at http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/empire/2011/08/20118483924329911.html
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