OIL: Petrodollar Compromise

U.S. and European officials last week ended their dignified but deep-seated dispute over how best to recycle the oil producers' surplus cash to countries needing emergency help in paying fuel bills (TIME, Jan. 20). The Europeans had been arguing for lending through an International Monetary Fund "facility" bankrolled directly by OPEC nations. The money would be borrowed at market rates and re-lent—on the guarantee of IMF members—more or less automatically to consuming countries according to the size of their oil-related deficits. The U.S. objected to the idea of a special IMF unit that would make loans without scrutinizing a...

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