Is the Washington Consensus Dead?
Abstract:The recent G20 meeting in London elevated the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to a new level. Its lending capacity was tripled to US$750 billion. In the aftermath of World War II, the IMF was established to deal with declining commodity prices and deteriorating international trade. During the oil price shocks of the 1970s the IMF became lender of last resort, mainly to countries with balance of payments problems. The debt crisis of the early 1980s in Latin America gave the Fund further impetus. By the mid 1980s the IMF and the World Bank had become policy architects in low-income countries. The 1998 Asian financial crisis brought the IMF to the forefront of crisis management. In 2009, we are again at another milestone—the Fund is back with even greater influence. (...)
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