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Calling a Spade a Spade

The IMF's second self-evaluation report on capital account crises in Indonesia, Korea and Brazil shows the same degree of independence of judgment, nuanced economic reasoning and forthrightness discernible in its first. Some of the Fund's most controversial prescriptions, in terms of fiscal and monetary policy in all three countries, are meticulously analysed but its conclusion on both is ambivalent. The sharpest criticism of the Fund is in the report's laudable observations that it should avoid prescribing a long agenda of reforms, when it has high leverage with countries which approach it during times of crises.

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