All eyes are on Greece, as the parties involved continue to strive for a lasting deal, spurring vigorous debate and some sharp criticisms, including of the IMF. In this context, I thought some reflections on the main critiques could help clarify some key points of contention as well as shine a light on a possible way forward.
ATHENS -- The IMF and Greece's other creditors have assumed that massive fiscal contraction has only a temporary effect on economic activity, employment and taxes, and that slashing wages, pensions and public jobs has a magical effect on growth. This has proved false. Indeed, Greece's post-2010 adjustment led to economic disaster -- and the IMF's worst predictive failure ever.
The status of negotiations between Greece and its official creditors -- the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF -- dominated headlines last week. At the core of the negotiations is a simple question: How much of an adjustment has to be made by Greece, how much has to be made by its official creditors?
SHANGHAI -- From China's perspective, sustained domestic economic growth seems unlikely within the existing global system -- a challenge that Japan and the other East Asian economies did not encounter during their economic rise. Indeed, the only country that has encountered it is the U.S., when it replaced the U.K. as the world's dominant economic and financial power before World War II; fortunately, that precedent is one of accommodation and a peaceful transition.
BERLIN -- Tsipras squandered Greece's opportunity, because he and other Syriza leaders were unable to see beyond the horizon of their party's origins in radical opposition activism. They did not understand the difference between campaigning and governing. Realpolitik, in their view, was a sellout. Of course, it is precisely the acceptance of necessity that marks the difference between government and opposition.
Economic growth dynamics vary across the region, broadly along North-South lines. While spring may be in the air for Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, the economic climate remains decidedly chilly in much of South America. What is behind these divergent prospects, and how can a sunnier outlook be restored to the entire region?