Response to Professor Bird
Published: September 2000
Allan Meltzer responds to Graham Bird’s article "Sins Of The Commission: The Meltzer Report On International Financial Institutions" [World Economics, Vol.1, No.3, July-September 2000]. In that article, Bird argued that the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission’s conclusions and recommendations for reform focused on the wrong issues, were unfairly critical of the IFI’s and their policies over the last 25 years and if implemented as policy would seriously detract from the development of the institutions and damage efforts to develop the world’s poorest countries. In his reply to Bird’s criticisms, Allan Meltzer, Chairman of the Commission, says the belief of Commission members was that a different framework with new approaches is necessary for the institutions to be more effective and that the need for change is evident, including greater weight on crisis prevention. Meltzer charges that Bird in his article has not addressed the facts that since 1982 the institutions have not prevented one financial crisis following another, recent crises have threatened the stability of the global financial system and poor countries have got poorer, and that he has offered no evidence to refute the Commission’s criticisms of the institutions’ policies and poor performances.