Stiglitz for the IMF
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Stiglitz for the IMF

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Explosive theories

In the guessing game as to who will replace Michel Camdessus at the IMF little credence has been given to Joseph Stiglitz, who recently resigned his post as the World Bank's chief economist. Perhaps because of his criticisms of the IMF he is thought to be unsuitable.

That shouldn't be so. The best person to reform an institution - and most people think the IMF has to adapt to a new era - is its sternest critic. It would indeed be an enlightened move to put Stiglitz at the helm.

It would also do Stiglitz good. After all, criticizing hasty capital markets liberalization in emerging markets and Russian privatization is one thing. Promoting successful alternative policies is quite another.

Alas international politics is not often conducted in an enlightened atmosphere and final agreement on the IMF's new boss will no doubt come after several rounds of horse trading. If it's going to be a European, as is traditional, it almost looks as if it could be Britain's turn.

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