I appeared on Al Jazeera’s ‘Empire‘ on Thursday evening – hosted by Marwan Bishara, the panel was made up of myself, Dr. Georges Corm (former Lebanese finance minister and former special consultant), World Bank Professor Alex Callinicos (director of European Studies, King’s College London and author of ‘Bonfire Of Illusions’) and Dr Mario Blejer (former governor, Argentine Central Bank and former advisor, Bank Of England).
“Marwan Bishara asked: will the International Monetary Fund regain its influence and reshape its role?
“The world is undergoing seismic economic changes, from the international financial crisis to the shifting balance of power between developed and developing countries.
“In this new world order the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the most prestigious and powerful international economic organisation on the planet, is reduced to a mere advisor, even spectator.
“This bastion of capitalist ideologies and neo-liberal policies is coming under attack from all sides.
“The developing world accuses the IMF of exploitation and favouritism, and the current scandals have only added to their woes. And the developing world refuses to be treated by the IMF as if was merely developing.
“But in the last three years the global economy has shifted and the old divides between east and west, north and south have become blurred. Many nations are looking at what the fund has to offer and are increasingly saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
“The IMF talks about reform, but is it empty rhetoric? Will it or can it change to reflect the new reality?
“And more importantly, with bailouts, defaults and rich nations living in a state of permanent crisis, are the IMF’s free-market policies part of the solution, or just perpetuating the problems?
“Empire asks: do we still need the IMF?”