Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs, is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015.

Recent Articles

The IMF and The Asian Flu

The International Monetary Fund casts itself as valiant superhero, swooping in to rescue troubled countries from self-inflicted financial disaster. In fact, the demands for austerity it has recently imposed on fundamentally sound economies in Asia and elsewhere have made their problems much worse.

T he International Monetary Fund has displayed its awesome power in recent months in assuming the central role in the unfolding Asian financial crisis. Since July, the IMF has organized financial bailouts totaling more than $100 billion of public funds in Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand. Yet the IMF is almost unknown to the American people. Its vague public image—carefully tended by the institution itself—is something like the cartoon in a recent Time magazine profile: The IMF, garbed as Superman, sweeps low over the earth, extinguishing financial blazes. But a careful examination of the actual record shows that the IMF, loyal to financial orthodoxy and mindful of creditors to the neglect of debtor countries, often pours oil on the flames. Consider the IMF's recent actions in Asia. Asia's current crisis has all the ingredients of a financial panic made in the private sector. Asian banks are large debtors to foreign banks, and a large part of the debt is very short-term. Despite...