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Reply #23: Maybe I already know about that and just don't share your opinion. [View All]

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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Maybe I already know about that and just don't share your opinion.
I'm not writing a press release for the IMF or world bank, both institutions suffer from numerous flaws and deserve plenty of criticism. But it's equally misleading to suggest they never do any good - $1.2 billion of debt relief (which is >60% of the country's debt) is a Good Thing.

The IMF isn't imposing new restrictions on Haiti as a condition of this loan. There's a loan facility in place with a variety of public administration conditions attached. Haiti's economy has been improving in recent years, despite disasters, partly as a result of the fiscal discipline they have been sticking to. That's why they had over 2/3 of their debt forgiven recently. The IMF extending more money by using the terms of the existing loan is because it's the fastest and simplest and least bureaucratic way to allocate them more money. Usually more money would come with additional strings to make sure it was spent wisely.

I mean look, suppose you were in debt to the bank, and you were skeptical of your bank's integrity. But suppose that in return for paying your bill on time every month, they actually stuck by a promise of theirs and wiped out 2/3 of your debt, and that when you suffered an accident through no fault of your own shortly afterwards, they immediately increased your credit limit. I wish my bank were like that.

Indeed, Haiti has historically been saddled with a bunch of debt it doesn't deserve. But on the other hand, the IMF and World bank were set up in 1945, they're not responsible for what France did in 1804. These institutions are like the UN of finance. They are often ineffective and it's fashionable to blame them for international problems, but they're not necessarily part of an evil conspiracy, any more than the UN is secretly plotting to subject the United States to some sort of international communist control.
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