Globalization and its discontents
Pb, in-8, 288 pp., index. Critisizes the IMF. The IMF doesn't pay attention to land reform.
Stiglitz argues that IMF policies contributed to bringing about the East Asian financial crisis, as well as the Argentine economic crisis. Also noted was the failure of Russia's conversion to a market economy and low levels of development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specific policies criticised by Stiglitz include fiscal austerity, high interest rates, trade liberalization, and the liberalization of capital markets and insistence on the privatization of state assets.
On privatization: 'Privatizing an unregulated monopoly can yield more revenue to the government, and the IMF focuses far more on macro-economic issues, such as the size of the government's deficit, than on structural issues, such as efficiency and competitiviness of the industry. Whether the privatized monopolies were more efficient in production than government, they were often more efficient in exploiting their monopoly position; consumers suffered as a result. Privatization has also come not just at the expense of consumers but at the expense of workers as well.' (56) And: 'If a government is corrupt, there is little evidence that privatization will solve the problem. After all, the same corrupt government that mismanaged the firm will also handle the privatization.' (58)