The Real Hazard of Globalization

It is fashionable to blame the International Monetary Fund for the wave of financial turmoil that has swept emerging markets since Mexico's ``Tequila crisis'' of 1994. By bailing out countries in trouble time and again, the IMF allegedly encouraged investors to take unwarranted risks, plowing money into countries without properly assessing whether they could ever pay it back. According to IMF critics, bailouts allowed leaders from Brazil to Turkey to avoid painful but necessary reforms, with the perverse effect of making crises inevitable.