More electricity. Fewer cases of diarrhea. Fewer lives lost to deadly storms. These are among the objectives of the development planners and financiers meeting next week in Washington at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s annual meetings.
Last week IMF managing director Christine Lagarde returned to CGD to make good on a pledge she made two years ago during the run-up to the Rio+20 gathering that marked the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit.
Here’s a fact about the IMF reform package, agreed in 2010 in a negotiation led by the United States and since approved by 158 countries, but (embarrassingly and cavalierly) stalled in the US Congress: It would increase Ukraine’s access to IMF resources to deal with its financial troubles by more than twice the special $1 billion of loan guarantees for Ukraine that the Obama Administration has proposed to the Congress — and potentially almost six times as much — at virtually no cost to US taxpayers.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker have a baffling post up on the Council on Foreign Relations website, calling out Treasury Secretary Lew for making the factual statement that congressional passage of IMF quota reform “would support the fund’s capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine.”
I'm an American citizen. I'm embarrassed. The US Congress again has failed to include in the omnibus budget bill finally passed by the House (and now going to the Senate) the trivial amount needed for the United States to finally approve critical changes at the IMF: a doubling of its resources and reform of its antiquated governance.
LBJ did it. So did Bill Clinton. Gerald Ford did it twice, Jimmy Carter did it just five weeks before being voted out of office, then Ronald Reagan turned around and did it the following year, and three more times after that.