IMF no longer simply a target for critics

imf Pictures, Images and Photos

Up until the last couple of years or so, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has been the target of much criticism from activists around the world. It, along with the World Bank have been accused of forcing less developed and powerful nations to accept loans with unfair terms. They also said that the two organizations were tools that the U.S. and other developed nations used in order to take advantage of the less developed countries’ situations and steal their resources.

The IMF and World Bank have had some missteps in the past that bolster these claims. In some cases, brutal dictators took all the money for themselves, leaving the poor citizens with nothing. In some cases, certain infrastructure projects were paid for by these organizations only to have the projects go badly or be a bad investment which those poor countries had to pay for. There are other examples, but you get the idea. However, it is still a stretch to suggest that the IMF and World Bank are western nations’ tools to steal from poorer nations.

Regardless, this recession and the various countries’ financial crises that followed have shown that the IMF does have a purpose more than just the negative things that activists like to point to. The IMF was key in the bail out of EU member Greece and is now an integral part of the proposed bail out of EU member Ireland. Now that we see that they operate within Europe, it should be clear to everyone that they are interested in the development and the improvement of economies, not the destruction and exploitation of them.

Sure, they have and will certainly continue to make mistakes along the way. However, their missions are just and well intentioned, regardless of what some think. Beyond that, there is something very important which no activist has been able to properly answer yet: Can you think of a better solution than the IMF and World Bank? It’s easy to complain about something, but those complaints are completely useless if you don’t have viable alternatives to the status quo. The actions of these organizations over the last couple of years should be analyzed and credit should be given where it’s due. Moreover, activists need to start thinking of solutions and not just complaints.