October 5, 2010
Has the IMF Really Changed? The Imperative for Post-Financial Crisis Reform
10 - 11:30 am
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2220
45 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, D.C., 20515
The global financial crisis has had grave and far-reaching repercussions across the globe, particularly for low-income countries. Last year, G-20 leaders designated the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the central vehicle for global economic recovery, committing to triple its resources. The U.S. Congress subsequently approved $100 billion in additional resources to the institution. At the time, anti-poverty advocacy groups expressed deep concern that the harsh austerity and pro-cyclical measures accompanying IMF lending could hinder recovery in low-income countries and exacerbate the crisis in middle-income countries as well. In response to these criticisms, the IMF has gone to great lengths to demonstrate changes in institution. Despite the positive press around such alterations, recent research and analysis on IMF policies since the crisis demonstrates that much of the claimed reform is superficial and does not represent a solid departure from past IMF practices.
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot took part in a panel to discuss evidence and analysis demonstrating how (1) austere IMF fiscal and monetary requirements prevent poor country governments from spending adequately on short-term economic recovery and long-term development. (2) Low income countries still have little voice within the institution to hold the Fund accountable. (3) Increased IMF lending capacity threatens to undermine low income countries’ long-term debt sustainability; (4) How Congress can use its oversight authority to ensure that taxpayer monies committed to the IMF for global recovery are used for their intended purposes. Other panelists included Bhumika Muchhala, a policy analyst with the Third World Network; Jeff Vogt, a global economic specialist at AFL-CIO; and Amy Gray, IFI education policy officer at the Global Campaign for Education. Melinda St. Louis, deputy director of the Jubilee USA Network, will moderate.
This event was sponsored by Jubilee USA Network, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Third World Network, Global Campaign for Education, The United Church of Christ Justice Ministries, and The United Methodist Church Global Board of Church and Society.