Even the IMF now agrees it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs

By Chrystia Freeland
March 7, 2011

Regular readers of Chrystia’s column will remember that she recently called out the IMF for failing to foresee the destabilizing effects of rising youth unemployment in Egypt. Specifically, in its April 2010 Article IV assessment of Egypt, the IMF concluded the country’s economy was in fact more resistant to external shocks thanks to “sustained and wide-ranging reforms.” Well, it turns out that the IMF has evolved in its thinking.  In an exclusive interview today with Chrystia and Reuters IMF correspondent Lesley Wroughton, IMF First Managing Director John Lipsky announced that going forward the Fund will more heavily weight unemployment risks in its annual country assessments.  “We think that these are very important issues and need to be looked at, and again, not just in cases where it might result in political turmoil but just as a matter of course in examining economic developments and policies,” Lipsky said.

Watch the whole exchange here:

Posted by Peter Rudegeair.

One comment

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Chrystia,

The need for jobs has many aspects in economies all over the world. We have recently seen how the lack of wealth in lower income tier levels can cause dramatic political instability. Although events in the Middle East may not be directly related, it seems that a deficit in consumerism causes economies to fail. Is this because our economic structures rely on infinite growth? If so, how long do we expect internal social and political structures to last before resources are exhausted and an increasingly large population acts, irrationaly or not, against these structures?

Western society is technologically sophisticated and we enjoy many benifits from the production, distribution, and infrastructure we have created. When resources are used up, when youth cannot find work to afford to carry the burden of caring for the elders, and the distribution of wealth between levels of society is even wider than it is now, can we forsee events in the United States parallel to those we see in the Middle East?

Posted by TorranceMS3 | Report as abusive