Business: Cheer and Gloom at the IMF

Hopeful talk of "convergence" and a plea for the LDCs

The annual gathering of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is not so much a meeting as a medium: a chance for about 3,500 bankers and finance officials to indulge in top-level gossiping, politicking and partying. At last week's session in Washington the talk, in refreshing contrast to last year's meeting, was surprisingly upbeat.

Many speakers thought some of the tension in international trade might fade in the future as the widely varying growth rates among the major countries begin to...

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