Pakistan has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $7.6 billion emergency loan to stave off a balance of payments crisis.
Shaukat Tarin, economic adviser to the prime minister, said the IMF had endorsed Pakistan's own strategy to bring about structural adjustments. The agreement is expected to encourage other potential donors, who are gathering in Abu Dhabi on Monday for a "Friends of Pakistan" conference.
The government had long delayed announcing its plans to turn to the IMF for help and President Asif Ali Zardari said in September the country did not want to seek IMF assistance. Tarin said in October that going to the IMF was "Plan C" if other lenders failed to come through. "If we want to go to the IMF, we can ... but only as a backup," he said.
For that matter, I can remember former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus declaring confidently at one of the annual IMF meetings I covered in Washington in the mid 1990s that Keynsianism was dead. I challenged him at the time over his certainty, but wish I could ask the same question now that western economies are spending their way out of trouble like there's no tomorrow.