What should the IMF do differently in Fragile/Conflict States?

Duncan Green - October 5, 2017

Took part in a really interesting discussion about the role of the IMF in fragile states last week. Chatham House rule, so no names, no institutions. The Fund works in fragile states in 3 main ways – it lends money to governments, it trains officials and it tracks and reports on government economic performance (‘surveillance’). Although its lending is often not big compared to other …

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First inequality, now neoliberalism: how many statues are left to kick over outside the IMF?

Duncan Green - June 6, 2016

Max Lawson, now Oxfam International’s policy guy on inequality, shares his newfound love for an old foe Last week the IMF published an article in its magazine that caused a considerable stir around the world.  Entitled ‘Neoliberalism: oversold?’ the short piece by Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, all from the Fund’s Research Department, questions whether the economic approach of neoliberalism has been taken …

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Great new IMF paper puts women’s rights at the heart of tackling income inequality

Duncan Green - November 10, 2015

The IMF continues to surprise an old lag like me who cut his policy teeth condemning it as the incarnation of extreme market idolatry and anti-poor structural adjustment programmes in the 80s and 90s. Read its new ‘staff discussion note’, Catalyst for Change: Empowering Women and Tackling Income Inequality to see why. The authors point out that ‘Income inequality and gender-related inequality can interact through …

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Where has the global movement against inequality got to, and what happens next?

Duncan Green - October 6, 2015

Katy Wright, Oxfam’s Head of Global External Affairs, stands back and assesses its campaign on inequality. The most frequent of the Frequently Asked Questions I’ve heard in response to Even it Up, Oxfam’s inequality campaign. is “how equal do you think we should be?” It’s an interesting response to the news that just 80 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population …

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Is the IMF Dismantling Trickle Down Economics?

Duncan Green - June 19, 2015

Oxfam America researcher and inequality guru Nick Galasso hails a new report that finds the poor and middle classes are the main engines of growth – not the rich In a new report, the IMF effectively drives the final nail into the coffin of trickle-down economics. The top finding, in their words, is that “if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, …

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Dancing on hot sand: Egypt and the IMF loan

admin - June 10, 2013

Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni is Oxfam’s Senior health & HIV policy adviser, and works on financing for development, including how powerful institutions influence developing countries policies. As an Egyptian, she is also passionate about ‘the revolutionaries who opened the door for the power of the youth to change the world for the better.’ As summer approaches in Egypt, people worry about endless hot days with electricity …

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The BRICS Bank gathers momentum: another sign of the world’s shifting power balance

admin - June 7, 2013

The momentum behind the creation of a new international bank by the BRICS countries seems to be building steadily. Its leaders will review progress on the BRICS Bank at a special BRICS summit in the sidelines of the St Petersburg G20 Summit in early September. They expect to finalise plans for the Bank at the Sixth official BRICS Summit in Brazil in early 2014. And …

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Food prices and politics: the IMF agrees with Bob Marley

admin - March 31, 2011

I usually prefer ‘man bites dog’ research that comes up with unexpected answers, but sometimes it’s helpful to have the opposite – number crunchers who back up what you always suspected, thereby increasing your certainty and confidence. Food Prices and Political Instability, a new paper from the IMF, is in the latter category. Some highlights, with an executive summary c/o Bob Marley’s classic, ‘Them Belly …

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Want to avoid financial crises? Then reduce inequality, says the IMF

admin - January 20, 2011

What are they putting in the water at the IMF these days? Following its recent advocacy of not one, but two new global taxes, a new IMF working paper by Michael Kumhof and Romain Ranciere links inequality with financial crises. “The United States experienced two major economic crises over the past century—the Great Depression starting in 1929 and the Great Recession starting in 2007. Both …

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Is the IMF getting serious about inequality? Looks like it

admin - November 4, 2010

Is the IMF going socialist? Hardly, but on Monday Dominique Strauss-Kahn, its Managing Director, gave a pretty extraordinary (and welcome) speech, entitled “Human Development and Wealth Distribution”. Here are a few excerpts: “Adam Smith—one of the founders of modern economics—recognized clearly that a poor distribution of wealth could undermine the free market system, noting that: “The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich …

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