No more excuses. That could be the International Monetary Fund’s message at this year’s G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. The IMF’s advisory note to leaders was unusually pointed, displaying a sentiment that one rarely finds in official documents meant for public consumption: exasperation. Christine Lagarde, the managing director, underlined the institution’s frustration in a blog post. “The political pendulum threatens to swing against economic openness,” she wrote. “Without forceful policy actions, the world could suffer from disappointing growth for a long time.”
The IMF implores countries to do the right thing all the time. But it is rare that it does so so bluntly, especially with the countries that own the vast majority of its voting shares. Lagarde, who was re-appointed to a new term earlier this year without opposition, is displaying a greater willingness to demand more of politicians -- or at least call them out. In an interview with Bloomberg Markets magazine earlier this year, she said one of her “frustrations” is being told that the IMF’s advice is sound, and then watching governments ignore it.
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