The Multilateralist

IMF economist resigns, blasts institution

CNN has obtained the resignation letter proferred by senior International Monetary Fund economist Peter Doyle. It’s a broad indictment of the Fund but focuses in particular on the organization’s failure to adequately warn policymakers about the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing Eurozone crisis. Doyle alleges that senior officials in the institution suppressed staff analyses ...

CNN has obtained the resignation letter proferred by senior International Monetary Fund economist Peter Doyle. It’s a broad indictment of the Fund but focuses in particular on the organization’s failure to adequately warn policymakers about the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing Eurozone crisis. Doyle alleges that senior officials in the institution suppressed staff analyses predicting both crises. (Both failures of the IMF’s "surveillance" system have been previously examined by the Fund, and Doyle appears to endorse many of the conclusions reached in those reports).

His broadest critique, however, is that the Fund’s predictive failures are ultimately a consequence of the institution’s flawed leadership selection process.  "Even the current incumbent is tainted, as neither her gender, integrity, or elan can’t make up for the fundamental illegitimacy of the selection process." Doyle appears to be arguing that a different process–presumably one that gave non-Europeans a real shot at the managing director’s slot–would produce a Fund less beholden to its largest shareholders and more capable of independent analysis.  But he offers little evidence that this is the case, and it’s not obvious why it should be.  With Doyle’s letter now public, let’s hope that he’ll flesh out his critique.

CNN has obtained the resignation letter proferred by senior International Monetary Fund economist Peter Doyle. It’s a broad indictment of the Fund but focuses in particular on the organization’s failure to adequately warn policymakers about the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing Eurozone crisis. Doyle alleges that senior officials in the institution suppressed staff analyses predicting both crises. (Both failures of the IMF’s "surveillance" system have been previously examined by the Fund, and Doyle appears to endorse many of the conclusions reached in those reports).

His broadest critique, however, is that the Fund’s predictive failures are ultimately a consequence of the institution’s flawed leadership selection process.  "Even the current incumbent is tainted, as neither her gender, integrity, or elan can’t make up for the fundamental illegitimacy of the selection process." Doyle appears to be arguing that a different process–presumably one that gave non-Europeans a real shot at the managing director’s slot–would produce a Fund less beholden to its largest shareholders and more capable of independent analysis.  But he offers little evidence that this is the case, and it’s not obvious why it should be.  With Doyle’s letter now public, let’s hope that he’ll flesh out his critique.

David Bosco is an associate professor at Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of books on the U.N. Security Council and the International Criminal Court, and is at work on a new book about governance of the oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
Tag: IMF