Third World Lightning Rod

Never has the IMF been more vital—or more vilified

President Belisario Betancur's welcome to the delegates at the Cartagena conference last week may have been a bit apocalyptic, but the substance struck a responsive chord in his audience. In declaring that Latin America's debt crisis is also the world's crisis, he pointed at the rich countries as the main villains of the drama. Added Betancur: "One of these villains, of course, is the International Monetary Fund." It is doubtful that anyone in the room disagreed with him.

As developing nations have gone deeper into debt...

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