The IMF on trial
Marwan Bishara asks: will the International Monetary Fund regain its influence and reshape its role?
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2011 11:12

The world is undergoing seismic economic changes, from the international financial crisis to the shifting balance of power between developed and developing countries.

Professor Alex Callinicos, director of European Studies, King's College London and author of 'Bonfire Of Illusions'
Ann Pettifor, fellow, at the New Economics Foundation and author of 'The Coming First World Debt Crisis'
Georges Corm, former Lebanese finance minister and former special consultant, World Bank
Dr Mario Blejer, former governor, Argentine Central Bank and former advisor, Bank Of England
Christine Lagarde, managing director, International Monetary Fund
Professor Alan Cibils, chair, Political Economy, Universidad Nacional Sarmiento

In this new world order the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the most prestigious and powerful international economic organisation on the planet, is reduced to a mere advisor, even spectator. 

This bastion of capitalist ideologies and neo-liberal policies is coming under attack from all sides.

The developing world accuses the IMF of exploitation and favouritism, and the current scandals have only added to their woes. And the developing world refuses to be treated by the IMF as if was merely developing.

But in the last three years the global economy has shifted and the old divides between east and west, north and south have become blurred.

Many nations are looking at what the fund has to offer and are increasingly saying, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Empire extra
  In pictures: IMF bailouts
  A history of the IMF
  What is the IMF?
  Chronicle of a debt foretold
  The IMF, dictators, and the Arab world
  Transcript: The IMF on trial

The IMF talks about reform, but is it empty rhetoric? Will it or can it change to reflect the new reality?

And more importantly, with bailouts, defaults and rich nations living in a state of permanent crisis, are the IMF's free-market policies part of the solution, or just perpetuating the problems?

Empire asks: do we still need the IMF?



Click here for more Empire.
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.