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Thursday, March 20, 2003

The International Monetary Fund, the Washington-based bank set up to police the financial globe and assist the Third World, yesterday made the startling admission that the policies it has been pursuing for the last 60 years do not often work.

In a paper that will be seized on by IMF critics across the political spectrum, leading officials reveal they can find little evidence of their own success with countries that follow IMF suggestions often suffering a "collapse in growth rates and significant financial crises", and open currency markets merely serving to "amplify the effects of various shocks"...

The report also says that "financial integration" has often led to an "increased vulnerability to crises" because foreign speculators pull out as soon as trouble emerges.