IMF Encourages Argentine Reforms, A Letter to the Editor, By Thomas C. Dawson, Director, External Relations Department, IMF

April 10, 2002

A Letter to the Editor
By Thomas C. Dawson
Director, External Relations Department
International Monetary Fund
Submitted to The Wall Street Journal but not published
April 10, 2002

Mary O'Grady rails at all parties in the Argentine crisis ("Cavallo Gets the Bill for IMF and Argentine Profligacy," April 5), yet her only solution is to do nothing. She seems to reserve her highest umbrage for those who actually try to find a way out. Why is it so outrageous for the IMF—fully backed by the international community—to talk with the Argentine authorities about helping to put their country back on track?

It might surprise Ms. O'Grady to know that the Fund is also concerned about the rule of law in Argentina. Before lending resumes, it is expected that Argentina will move to establish an internationally recognized insolvency regime and deal with the economic subversion law, which allows for arbitrary official actions against business. The authorities also must address the provincial governments' spending and issuance of alternate "currencies." To date, these and other necessary reforms have not been put in place, and so—Ms. O'Grady, please take note—no financial assistance has been offered.

The IMF does not have the luxury of simply ranting at Argentina's problems. It must work with the government to help resolve a tragedy that has brought severe hardship upon its people.


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