The U.S. Taxpayer and the IMF

For the U.S. taxpayer, last weekend’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Turkey were a reminder of the importance of global cooperation to tackle the economic and financial crisis. As we (hopefully) enter a new phase of economic and financial recovery, global cooperation will continue to be critical for taxpayer interests.

It is probably fair to say that our fiscal and monetary stimulus policies have yielded more bang for the buck because other countries took similar steps at the same time, unlike the 1930s when “beggar-thy-neighbor” policies were the norm.

At the recent IMF meetings, the world's finance ministers continued to develop plans announced at the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit a few weeks ago. Before next April (and as governments prepare their next round of budget proposals), Treasury Secretary Geithner and his global counterparts asked IMF economists to provide research and advice to countries on principles for orderly exit strategies from massive fiscal and monetary stimulus.

The value added of the IMF is to offer guidance to national governments on how they can best manage the recovery phase of the economic and financial crisis within a global context. The challenge for the U.S. (and its trade partners) is that if the massive stimulus resources put into all our economies are withdrawn at the same time, recovery and job creation will be at risk.

As we all start to think about next year’s budget round and beyond, add IMF research to your list of recommended reading, to take the global angle into account.