Sunday, October 11, 2015

Says the IMF: We're Best Ignored

Over time "IMF" has become a dirty word in Latin America, laden with images of externally-forced shock therapy programs. Governments, especially those on the left, searched for ways to avoid dealing with it. Now after meeting in Latin America, IMF officials say basically that rejecting the IMF worked pretty well.

Helped by strong growth, social transformation in Latin America over the past decade and a half has been impressive. The region sharply reduced its poverty rate, cut extreme poverty in half, and income inequality also fell. Going forward, the challenge is preserving and increasing gains in a more difficult environment for growth, especially for commodity exporting countries.

Funny that "decade and a half" coincides very closely with the first wave of leftist governments winning presidential elections. So what at the time was a bunch of "populist" governments buying votes is now "impressive social transformation."

All IMF officials had to say now was that Latin America should consolidate what they already achieved once they stopped thinking in IMF terms.


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