Is The IMF Killing Off Its Patients?

No one likes to question leaders during an emergency. We prefer to leave the hard work of fixing problems in their hands and stand quietly back, offering patient support as our well-trained experts plunge ahead. But it has been hard in the past few weeks, as Russia has stumbled and Southeast Asia has continued its miserable descent, not to ask a nagging, disloyal question: Just what is the International Monetary Fund doing?

Russia, for instance, received a pledge of nearly $23 billion from the fund earlier this summer as part of an ambitious bailout program. Economic stability in Russia is an...

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