Swathe of Debt / Swat of….Death?

In researching my paper for Political and Economic Development in Latin America on the difference in responses to neoliberalism between Latin America and the Caribbean I came across this video. It’s a joint interview on CaribNationTV between Mark Weisbrot, an economist with left-leaning think tank the Centre for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR) in DC, and a Caribbean Division Chief of the IMF, Therese Turner-Jones.

I particularly enjoyed this not only because I generally appreciate CEPR’s analysis of Latin American issues (sign up for their news round-up if you’re interested in LatAm… great set of headlines daily to keep you up to date on major regional news developments), or because it actually helps me go some way towards answering a question I had about how the variation in the role of the IMF in the two regions may explain certain differences in outcomes. The best part about it is that it brings to life a lot of the debates we cover in class about neoliberalism and its impacts in the developing world in the form of two people who represent organisations on quite opposing sides of this debate.

Essentially Weisbrot says the IMF is responsible for Jamaica’s dire economic and social situation, while the IMF suggests it’s the answer to Jamaica’s dire economic and social situation….

I think these kind of discussions are truly important at a time when, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, Jamaica’s debt situation has become so severe that it has as little as 20% of government spending available for development priorities such as education and health (rather than for debt repayment).

You might notice the (Freudian?) slip by the IMF economist when she misstates “swathe of debt” as “swat of death” 🙂 Not to give away where I stand on this or anything.


Posted on February 25, 2013, in Global Finance Trade and Economic Integration, International Finance, Josef Korbel School of International Studies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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