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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the IMF Dismantling Trickle Down Economics?

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

Dancing on hot sand: Egypt and the IMF loan

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

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

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

Food prices and politics: the IMF agrees with Bob Marley

March 31, 2011

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

January 20, 2011

Is the IMF getting serious about inequality? Looks like it

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

Me with the IMF at the Hanoi Hilton – please add photo caption

May 21, 2010
OK, the blog’s been pretty heavy going of late, so here’s some light relief, c/o the IMF, who have just sent me multiple copies of this pic from a conference back in March on the impact of the global economic crisis in low income countries (see my previous post, or the IMF page on the event with presentations). This is

The IMF pronounces on the Robin Hood Tax

April 30, 2010
Yesterday, I discussed the IMF’s fascinating new proposals for two international taxes on the financial sector  – a ‘financial stability contribution’ (FSC) and a ‘financial activities tax’ (FAT). But the leaked interim report to the G20 also discussed the financial transactions tax (FTT), better known as the Robin Hood Tax. What did it say? First the good news: ‘The FTT