Setting the Record Straight: A letter to Le Monde, By Kenneth Rogoff, Economic Counsellor and Director, Research Department, IMF

October 4, 2002

Setting the Record Straight: A letter to Le Monde
By Kenneth Rogoff
Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department
International Monetary Fund
Submitted to Le Monde but not published
October 4, 2002

To the Editor:

I am flattered that Le Monde has taken the trouble to write a profile of me. I am gratified by the kind words Babette Stern found to say about me and accept that her less appreciative remarks were made in the spirit of fair comment.

But allow me, for the sake not only of accuracy but also of courtesy to Joseph Stiglitz, to make one clarification. I did not call Professor Stiglitz a "charlatan", and I would never use that word to describe him. I did, however, on one previous occasion describe some of his prominent economic policy recommendations — that countries facing debt and currency crises should respond by issuing more debt and printing more money — as "at best highly controversial, at worst, snake oil". I have never repeated this remark, but I stand by it, and it seems to me to have been quite appropriate to have said it when I did. It was in the face of a remarkably unwarranted four-year attack on the intellect and integrity of those who work at the IMF, the offensive and deeply personal nature of which has been noted by countless outside observers.


Public Affairs    Media Relations
E-mail: E-mail:
Fax: 202-623-6278 Phone: 202-623-7100