Rebel with a Cause

Rebel with a Cause, Eyal Press,
The Nation
Joseph Stiglitz thinks the IMF is undemocratic, secretive, and
ineffective. How does he know? He used to be senior vice-president
and chief economist at the World Bank — until his outspoken
criticism led to his resignation. Even so, the Columbia University
economist and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics has
not stopped talking. He lectures to packed audiences, advises
leaders of developing countries, runs the Initiative for Policy
Dialogue (he hopes to end the World Bank and IMF’s 50-year monopoly
on development policy), and recently authored Globalization and Its
Discontents (Norton). Stiglitz, according to one colleague, ‘has
done more to damage the IMF’s reputation than any other living
economist,’ but he is only one of a growing number of economists,
sociologists, and political scientists who warn that critiques of
the World Bank and IMF need to be taken seriously. Though Stiglitz
believes the institutions should be reformed rather than
eliminated, he does propose that growth should not be the sole
measure of success, and that ‘rather than prescribe solutions [to
Third World countries], economists should emphasize choices,
underscoring the risks and trade-offs of pursuing various
–Rebecca Wienbar
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