International Monetary Fund

Finish Strong
June 10, 2010

Going into the Senate debate over financial reform, a cynic would have offered the White House the following advice: Fight aggressively on the proposed consumer agency and settle for the appearance of reform on the rest of the bill. After all, most of us can understand the difference between a powerful new consumer watchdog and a token reshuffling of the bureaucracy.

Annals of the Fiscal Crisis: Schoolhouse Rocked
April 23, 2010

While bankers again swim down a Wall Street awash in profits and the IMF celebrates upwardly-revised global growth forecasts this week, the local government fiscal crisis continues.  Last week we reported on some provocative stop-gap measures in Colorado Springs, which has among other things switched off half the street lights. This week’s story is more sobering and more pervasive--and suggests that the fiscal crisis will now start hitting communities at their hearts:  their schools.   Several prominent news outlets (The New York Times and The Washington Post among them) ran stories this week

Deficit of Imagination
March 29, 2010

Last week, CBO issued its analysis of President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011. The news was not encouraging. Here are the basic findings: “If the President’s proposals were enacted, the federal government would record deficits of $1.5 trillion in 2010 and $1.3 trillion in 2011. These deficits would amount to 10.3 percent and 8.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) respectively.” “Measured relative to the size of the economy, the deficit under the President’s proposals would fall to about 4 percent of GDP by 2014 but would rise steadily thereafter.

Greek Tragedy
March 19, 2010

Shortly after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou took office last fall, he learned that he’d inherited a massive booby prize: a budget deficit that was twice the amount the previous government had disclosed. But, when Papandreou came clean and promised to address the problem, the financial markets reacted violently. Interest rates soared, adding billions in debt-service costs to an already dire budget picture.

Is Obama Really Breaking up the Banks?
January 27, 2010

Noam Scheiber: Obama's tough new approach to Wall Street is ... a lot like the old one.

Double Down
January 15, 2010

Otherwise-obscure central bankers spent an unprecedented amount of time in the global limelight last year. As the crisis brought down not only banking behemoths, but also macroeconomic axioms, the expansionary measures enacted by the Fed’s Ben Bernanke, the European Central Bank’s Jean-Claude Trichet, and the Bank of England’s Mervyn King have been credited, at least for now, with preventing a second coming of the Great Depression.

Now Greece Needs a Bailout. Should We Be Worried?
December 16, 2009

The latest round of fretting in global debt markets is focused on Greece (WSJ; Greece). This is misplaced. To be sure, there will be a great deal of shouting before the matter is formally resolved, but the Abu Dhabi–Dubai affair shows you just where Greece is heading. The global funding environment (thanks to Mr.

Today at TNR (October 7, 2009)
October 07, 2009

Hey Moderate Democrats, Stop Making Excuses for Blocking Health Care Reform! by The Editors The Case for Responding to Ahmadinejad: Why the Holocaust Still Matters, by Michael Oren Meet the Next Glenn Beck, by Michelle Goldberg Cohn: Consumer Protection, Except for the Part About Protecting Consumers, by Jonathan Cohn How Louis XIV’s Favorite Underling Invented the Police State, by David Bell Scheiber: Obama's Pay Czar is Actually on the Right Track, by Noam Scheiber Peretz: The US and Egypt Co-Sponsored a UN Resolution on Freedom of Expression. What the Hell Is Going On?

Disaster at the IMF
October 06, 2009

Buried in the avalanche of meaningless press releases from Istanbul is a highly significant item. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF, “has proposed the appointment of Naoyuki Shinohara, to the position of Deputy Managing Director. Mr. Shinohara, a former Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs of Japan, will succeed Takatoshi Kato.” This is a disaster. I have nothing against Mr.

The IMF Is Being Taken Over by the G20. Does it Matter at All?
October 06, 2009

Sunday’s communique from the International Monetary and Financial Committee (of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund) is incredibly bland, even by their usual standards. The degree of self-congratulation and complacency is slightly less pronounced than what we saw from the G20 in Pittsburgh, whose final statement contained a classic moment of hubris when the entirety of paragraph 5 read: “It worked.” Still, the IMFC (representing all IMF member countries) seems to be in the same cloud cuckoo land as the G20 leaders. This is not surprising, as the IMF appears to be increas