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Interview - Christine Lagarde, Managing director, International Monetary Fund (Africa Report)
September 20, 2018
By Patrick Smith
From the article:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cannot win – it is either doing too much or too little for critics’ liking. Once the world’s most powerful financial institution, by the 1970s and 1980s it had become the key arbiter of developing countries’ economic continence. Those governments that defied its precepts were ordered, discreetly or otherwise, to rethink their policies – on pain of exclusion from the league of financially responsible countries.
Against that backdrop, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde speaks to The Africa Report, defending her institution’s role and explaining how it was trying to stop the debt crisis from spreading. She acknowledges the need for a sharp improvement in data collection and working more closely with civil society to feed into more effective national surveillance and lending programmes.
Resolving this new crisis, and stopping more countries from being dragged into its vortex, will draw in many more players than the HIPC scheme. For example, between 2013 and 2016, China’s share of the debt owed by poor countries surpassed the total held by the Paris Club, the World Bank and all the regional development banks, according to Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development think tank.