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Saturday, May 08, 2004

The Real Culprit: Globalization, the IMF, or Neither?


A reader says that it wasn't globalization that cost the government street sweeper his job in India, but maybe it was the IMF and the World Bank, which like to push privatization and budget-cutting on poor countries (or at least that's how I interpret the comment).

Personally, my impression is that when the IMF steps in to bail out countries undergoing a financial crisis, their stabilization programs cause a lot of unnecessary suffering. I remember, for example, the IMF insisting that South Korea weaken laws making it hard for employers to fire their workers, which seemed to have pretty much nothing to do with the currency crisis that the IMF was ostensibly fighting. On the other hand, I think the World Bank is mostly a force for good.

In the end though, I'm not really informed enough to have strong views about the IMF and the World Bank, and I'm ready to be enlightened.
 
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