Financial Crisis Boosts IMF

In reponse to our post ‘Most Countries Worse Off After IMF Agreement – US Think Tank, IMF spokesman Bill Murray, using the handler ‘wmurray’ , rejected the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) findings as ‘seriously misleading conclusions’, ‘relying on faulty analysis and often inaccurate information.’ Other critics were Ms Caroline Pearce, from international aid agency Oxfam. AFP quoted her saying “‘If the IMF wants to be relevant, effective, credible and legitimate, it has to give countries hardest hit by the financial crisis a say in their own destiny.’

The Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) study was published to coincide with the IMF/World Bank meetings.

The havoc wrought by the economic crisis has given the IMF a new sense of purpose as the world’s emergency lender – and even some of its fiercest critics are starting to mellow.

It is a remarkable turnaround for an institution targeted by anti-globalisation protesters and reviled by millions of people after imposing harsh conditions on its loans during previous crises.

‘I think the response has been much more positive in this crisis and it’s been very constructive,’ said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist well-known for his diatribes against International Monetary Fund lending practices.

Dr Stiglitz spoke on the sidelines of annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Turkey’s financial capital, Istanbul, where global finance chiefs have hammered out strategies for dealing with the economic crisis.

The IMF has given out tens of billions of dollars in credit to bail out countries affected by the worst global recession since World War II and is giving out zero-interest loans for the world’s poorest nations.

Its lending resources were boosted at a summit of the Group of 20 rich and emerging nations earlier this year and it has been tasked by the G-20 with monitoring world economic and financial stability to prevent future crises.

AFP

Meanwhile

Anti-IMF Protest Broken Up

Police have used pepper gas and water cannons to break up a protest by stone- and fire bomb- throwing youths who are protesting the International Monetary Fund for a second day.

Around 150 people, members of left-wing groups, gathered a kilometre (mile) away from the venue of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank that are being held in Istanbul.

The masked protesters on Wednesday hurled stones and fire bombs at police. Police responded with pepper gas and chased protesters downs side streets.

On Tuesday, police detained some 100 people following a similar protest in which demonstrators shattered windows of shops and banks.

Last week, a student journalist hurled a shoe at IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn at a university in Istanbul. The shoe missed him.

www.straitstimes.com

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