Down With The IMF!
Jeremy Hetherington-Gore Unleashed
06 June, 2007
In IMFese, that translates as: 'The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded its Article IV consultation with Switzerland. The Swiss economy is performing well. The expansion moved into its fourth year with above average growth and employment, and few signs of inflation.'
In yet other words, a team of highly-paid IMF staffers spent a week or more staying in expensive hotels in Switzerland, taking up the time of senior and junior Swiss ministers and officials, and have churned out an immense report, consuming several hectares of Amazonian rain forest, all to tell us nothing whatsoever.
'The financial sector is performing well in a favorable cyclical setting, bank profitability is strong, . . . and two large Swiss banks are global players in wealth management and derivatives markets.' No, you don't say.
'Executive Directors commended the Swiss authorities for their prudent economic management and sound policy frameworks.'
What is this patronising nonsense? We all know that the IMF, like the World Bank, is an institution in search of a goal, but how much longer do we have to put up with such an offensive waste of resources, paid for, I want to remind you, out of interest income from the Fund's clients, mostly poor, developing countries? These Article IV consultations take place for all countries, usually every year. Unbelievable.
The IMF has set up a committee of the great and good to propose new funding models. Probably it will sell some of its gold reserves to finance a structural deficit for the next few years. But the committee's time would have been better spent in deciding how to shrink or wind up this useless institution.
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