April 2009, Mark Weisbrot, Jose Cordero and Luis Sandoval

This paper briefly reviews the IMF’s current practices and policy-making in the context of a proposed quadrupling of IMF resources to $1 trillion dollars, and a consequent increase in the Fund’s influence over economic policy-making in developing countries. It finds that the IMF is still prescribing inappropriate policies that could unnecessarily exacerbate economic downturns in a number of countries.

The paper concludes that these pro-cyclical policies can exacerbate the world economic downturn. Perhaps more importantly, the re-establishment of the IMF as a major power in economic and decision-making in low-and-middle income countries, with little or no voice for these countries in the IMF’s decision-making, could have long-term implications for growth, development, and social indicators in many countries. The authors propose some reforms in the areas of governance and accountability to be attached of funding increases, in order to help prevent adverse outcomes.

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