NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What Does IMF Have To Show For $181 Billion

January 20, 1999

Critics of the International Monetary Fund charge that it has little to show for the $181 billion shoveled out since mid-1997 in rescue packages for Asia, Russia and Brazil. Even IMF officials conceded in a report yesterday that they made some mistakes during Asia's 1997-98 crisis.

  • The $22.8 billion that Russia received last year hasn't stopped the ruble from becoming nearly worthless.
  • Even with its $43 billion bailout, Indonesia's economy is in gridlock.
  • Despite the $41.5 billion backing Brazil received, its economy is tottering.
  • Experts report that of all the countries receiving IMF funds since the start of the Asian crisis, only Thailand and South Korea have been making shaky progress.

Critics note that of that $181 billion, some $61 billion belongs to U.S. taxpayers -- or about $230 for every man, woman and child in America.

Source: Editorial, "What Did It Get Us?" Wall Street Journal, January 20, 1999.


Browse more articles on International Issues