Friday, May 21, 2010

Is Eichengreen the next Stiglitz

Certainly sounds strident enough:

European leaders and the IMF have badly bungled their efforts to stabilise Europe’s financial markets. Greece will restructure its debt. This point is no longer controversial; the only controversy is why a restructuring was not part of the initial IMF-EU rescue package. Only the delusional can believe that, when everyone else is taking swingeing cuts, Greece's creditors can continue receiving 100 cents on the euro. It beggars belief that Greek government debt can top out at 150% of GDP, as the IMF envisages. ... debt restructuring is complex, and neither the IMF nor the Greek government had worked out a plan. If true, this is the most damning explanation of all, for it means that the Fund went into negotiations unprepared. ... The IMF botched its rescue.

Fortunately, he also has some remedies for how the IMF can redeem itself:

First, the IMF and the European Commission can encourage Greece to reach a social consensus on restructuring and reform by showing that the creditors will also contribute.

Sure, the IMF has all the power in the world to do this. And does the IMF really have the power to renegotiate debt with investment banks?

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