Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5/6/2013: More bad news for the future of IMF's EU bias?

A very significant article from WSJ by always-excellent @MatinaStevis : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324299104578527202781667088.html?mod=WSJEurope_hpp_LEFTTopStories

"The IMF said that it bent its own rules to make Greece's burgeoning debt seem sustainable and that, in retrospect, the country failed on three of the four IMF criteria to qualify for assistance."

This is the first time the Fund is admitting knowingly bending own rules and it is very significant in the context of the IMF internal structures (permanent staff v political appointees) and external power balance, with BRICS clearly not going to sit quiet in the future when the IMF is now de facto admitting that its European bias in leadership is potentially to be blamed for its bypassing own rules on lending.

I have mentioned the above point earlier last month on foot of another report on IMF internal struggles with Greek 'solution': http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/05/1252013-what-greek-osi-will-mean-for-imf.html

And IMF has already sung the surrender song on debt restructuring blunders: http://econintersect.com/b2evolution/blog1.php/2013/05/27/imf-rethinks

Next stop: Cyprus, where there is now evidence that Troika cooked the facts on banks in the context of 'dirty money', which, of course, helped to legitimise the wholesale, wonton destruction of the island economy: http://www.cyprus-mail.com/anti-money-laundering/troika-distorted-dirty-money-findings/20130524

Thereafter, expect fireworks to start when Ms Lagarde term comes up for renewal...


Update: as @Pawelmorski points out, this is not the first time that the IMF has admitted to making a policy error. Here's the paper on Argentina crisis lessons from 2003: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pdr/lessons/100803.htm and a paper on Asian crisis lessons: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/op/op178/index.htm . Of course, Argentina's case is an interesting one as the country took its own course away from the IMF-led programme prescriptions. For better or worse (and there is evidence to both sides of that argument, Argentina's recovery was faster and more decisive than that of Ireland so far - see chart here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/06/662013-domestic-economy-v-mncs-sunday.html ). At least, unlike the EU, IMF is big enough to admit its errors...

Update 2: IMF actual report on Greece is here: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr13156.pdf
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