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As countries around the world struggle to emerge from the global economic crisis, are institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) part of the problem - or the solution?

The IMF's lending practices have come under tremendous scrutiny in recent years. Critics accuse the organisation of pushing poorer nations deeper into debt and poverty through its conditional loans. Many have condemned the IMF as a tool of "Western imperialism."

But the IMF says its policies are aimed at encouraging financially troubled nations, which accept its money, to cut wasteful spending and embrace fiscal responsibility.

On Thursday, we discuss those issues with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, and James Vreeland, a Georgetown University professor who has written numerous books on the IMF.

This episode of Riz Khan aired from Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera