Triple Crisis blogger Kevin Gallagher co-authored the following opinion article with José Antonio Ocampo in the Guardian on the IMF’s formal recognition of capital controls as a vital policy tool for regulating destabilizing capital flows in developing countries.
In contrast to most western governments, over the past two years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has boldly conducted one of the most honest self-assessments of its actions leading up to the financial crisis, has become somewhat critical of inflation-targeting and has endorsed the use of capital controls. In March of this year, the IMF held a full conference on rethinking macroeconomics where its organisers concluded that the crisis has shattered the economic orthodoxy behind the fund’s previous policies.
In preparation for its annual meetings next week, on Tuesday the IMF took its work on capital controls a step further by issuing two reports (one official report and one staff discussion paper) outlining when nations should use capital controls, and what types of capital controls should be used under the proper circumstances. The new reports amount to yet another big step forward for the IMF – though there is still a long way to go.