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IMF Gets It Wrong

IMF Gets It Wrong
Profile photo of David Howden

Christine Lagarde admits that the International Monetary Fund “got it wrong” when it chastised the British government’s austerity plans. One year ago the IMF’s chief economist Oliver Blanchard claimed the U.K. was “playing with fire” by cutting its budget.

With the benefit of hindsight, the IMF has changed its stance. The U.K. economy is set to grow 2.9% this year, the fastest among the G7 nations. Furthermore, the growth is being driven by investment spending, not consumption as the IMF had long thought necessary.

Though she stopped short of apologizing for the Fund’s poor recommendations in the past, Lagarde allude to begging for forgiveness. Rather than seeking forgiveness after the IMF makes a mistake, why doesn’t it stop giving out bad advice so that it doesn’t find itself in these embarrassing situations in the future.

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David Howden is Chair of the Department of Business and Economics, and professor of economics at St. Louis University, at its Madrid Campus, Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, and winner of the Mises Institute's Douglas E. French Prize. Send him mail.

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