Lagarde unguarded in the Guardian
Here's a great excerpt:
So when she studies the Greek balance sheet and demands measures she knows may mean women won't have access to a midwife when they give birth, and patients won't get life-saving drugs, and the elderly will die alone for lack of care – does she block all of that out and just look at the sums?
"No, I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens."
She breaks off for a pointedly meaningful pause, before leaning forward. "Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax."
Even more than she thinks about all those now struggling to survive without jobs or public services? "I think of them equally. And I think they should also help themselves collectively." How? "By all paying their tax. Yeah."
It sounds as if she's essentially saying to the Greeks and others in Europe, you've had a nice time and now it's payback time. "That's right." She nods calmly. "Yeah."
And what about their children, who can't conceivably be held responsible? "Well, hey, parents are responsible, right? So parents have to pay their tax."
Wow, ok. So taxes fix every thing eh, Christine?
And, while the sentiment on poor children in Niger is quite noble, the IMF doesn't do squat about education in Niger. A restructuring/forgiveness of Greek debt is not going to cut aid to Niger.
The IMF was asleep at the wheel as Greece loaded up on debt and became totally uncompetitive. The IMF was asleep at the wheel as the Eurozone drifted into untenability. Now its head is blaming the Greek people and implying that if they'd just do the right thing and pay their taxes, there would not be a problem.
And that's pretty much a pile of horsesh*t.