The Hearing Poll: Should the U.S. Do More to Prop Up the IMF?
This morning, the House subcommittee on international monetary policy and trade (part of the House Financial Services Committee) will hold a hearing on the implications of the Group of 20 summit for low-income countries.
One of the more controversial issues will be whether the United States should provide an additional $100 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund as part of a bigger increase in the IMF’s resources for lending to countries that get into trouble. (Vote on this above, and put your expanded answers in comments.)
The Obama administration says we need to do this, and a broader international deal around these numbers was an important part of the recent G-20 summit, but the idea has hardly been sold more broadly to American voters.
In addition, there will be questions about whether enough is being done by the United States, the IMF and others to help poorer countries. Amar Bhattacharya will be making a strong case for the world’s developing countries. (He helps run the G-24, which is an organization of the less rich.) Nancy Birdsall of the Center for Global Development will be supportive, but – based on past form – she is also likely to press hard for more reform in the governance of the IMF and the World Bank (who is in charge, how money is handed out, how much aid flows to poor countries).
Tim Adams, formerly of the U.S. Treasury (under President George W. Bush), is likely to be more skeptical of the idea that increasing aid flows will stimulate global growth. But he will probably support giving more resources to the IMF – this is an idea that the Bush administration pursued, hesitantly, at least toward the end of its term.
I will also testify, most likely stressing the need to beef up IMF operations. There was an unfortunate and ill-timed reduction in IMF staff about a year ago (just as the global crisis broke).
The staff who were let go need to be replaced; many of them should probably be rehired.
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