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November 15, 2008

Yet another dead institution trying to revive itself

CEPR, Essential Action and results have the scoop on another dead institution trying to revive its power. They did a press call talking about the issue. Mark Weisbrot had this to say:

The IMF answers mainly to the U.S. Treasury Department, with some minor influence from Europe," said CEPR economist and Co-Director Mark Weisbrot. "Treasury is using its influence just as it did 10 years ago during the East Asian economic crisis, to channel international bailouts through the IMF and to determine the conditions attached to such lending, and to select the recipients of such aid according to its own political preferences."

Weisbrot noted that during the Asian financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury department scuttled proposals for an Asian Monetary Fund, which could have prevented much of the damage that occurred, in order to maintain the IMF/Treasury monopoly on bailouts in the region.

Weisbrot called for countries with large surpluses of international reserves to channel any aid to developing countries outside of the IMF, either through regional, multi-lateral, or bi-lateral arrangements.

"Competition is necessary, and will also improve the performance of the IMF," said Weisbrot.

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