Sunday, September 25, 2011

Overheard at the IMF Meeting

"I conclude, after carefully thinking,
That the options for action are shrinking;
If we take evr'y pail out
We still cannot bail out
The deadbeats whose dinghies are sinking."

This weekend was the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund member states. No doubt many are asking the urgent question: could the IMF take bold action to save the troubled economies of Europe? Simon Johnson, in his Baseline Scenario blog, puts it in perspective: the IMF's entire lending capacity equals only 15% of the public debt of Italy. Says Johnson: "The world does not really need saving, at least in a short-term macroeconomic sense.  If the problems do escalate, the IMF does not have enough money to make a difference."

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