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The ALMOST Feedback Loop

Mike is in a hurry to get home from work – eager to see his family and put his feet up after a long shift.

It’s 5pm on a chilly winter day in Detroit and he’s waiting for his bus to come. Thanks to TextMyBus.com and the Detroit Department of Transportation, he is able to use his cell phone to discover that the next bus is due in just 10 minutes. A few minutes go by and he heads outside right before it’s scheduled to stop. But after 10 minutes, no bus. After 30 minutes, his bus finally shows, but spending an extra 20 minutes in below freezing weather and snow means that Mike gets a nasty cold and misses a few days of work.

In my recent blog post, "Make a Consumer Reports for Aid," I detailed four questions that are important to answer in the quest for fully realizing the benefits of feedback loops. In this post, we focus on framing question #4:

Flailing IMF? Who Is Really to Blame?

Last week our CGD and Peterson Institute colleague Arvind Subramanian called on the IMF to speak truth to power, in an elegant cri de coeur in the Financial Times. The IMF, he notes: “has not provided independent intellectual leadership, most evidently on the eurozone crisis. And it is unprepared to provide stability for the next big global crisis.”