IMF: THE INDUSTRY OF APOLOGIES

The famous error of the ‘multiplier’, admitted by the IMF (but not by its paid clerks in the political and journalist offices of Greece), is merely the latest example in a lengthy list of the international organisation’s mea culpa. In this article for UNFOLLOW magazine, Aris Chatzistefanou explains that one can hardly find even a single case in which the Fund’s intervention did not have tremendous consequences for the real economy and was not followed by a public or secret admission of liability by its analysts.

After three years in Greece, the IMF has triumphed in its mission assigned by PASOK [1] and the international banking system.

Since people learned to apologise the sense of honour was lost, an old Greek saying goes. In the case of the IMF, along with the sense of honour, millions of lives and trillions of dollars were also lost. Yet, in our humble opinion, the IMF should follow an old advice of Mahatma Gandhi: “Never apologise if you were right”.

Imagine a cook who, whenever entering the kitchen, follows to the letter a failed recipe. His clients suffer from diarrhea and some of them die. Each time, the cook makes an announcement admitting the mistakes of the recipe, asks humbly for forgiveness and goes back into the kitchen to prepare yet another lethal meal.

This is how several of its devotees but also its critics attempt to present the IMF, i.e. like a version of the Swedish chef from the Muppet show, who happens, in this case, to be holding the destinies of millions of people across the planet in his hands.

The famous error of the ‘multiplier’, admitted by the IMF (but not by its paid clerks in the political and journalist offices of Greece), is merely the latest example in a lengthy list of the international organisation’s mea culpa.

One can hardly find even a single case in which the Fund’s intervention did not have tremendous consequences for the real economy and was not followed by a public or secret admission of liability by its analysts.  Continue reading