Business / Economy

No more foot-dragging in IMF reform

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-20 10:13

BEIJING - The ship is leaking, but the captain is reluctant to do the repair. That is exactly what the United States, veto-wielding master of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is doing in the reform of the global lending body.

With pretty much all of the IMF members voicing deep disappointment with the US Congress' block of the reform plan at the ongoing annual spring meeting of the Washington-based lender, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Saturday that he still believes that the Congress will pass the reform "soon".

The US foot-dragging tells three things.

First, the United States has been habituated to let the whole world pay for the spillovers of bipartisan politics in Washington.

Second, it considers the reform as a potential threat to the US hegemony in the international financial system.

Third, the nearly-recovered world's top economy ignores the outcry of other members for reform, including its European allies, which are still suffering from a lasting sovereign debt crisis.

From fiscal cliff to intermittent political stalemate on Capitol Hill, Uncle Sam, whether with intention or not, has created plenty of "crises" for America itself and the whole world at large.

In fact, US politicians are ready to fight each other at the expense of anyone's interests. Blocking the IMF reform plan is nothing short of a daily practice for them.

Moreover, for those hard-noised politicians, the IMF reform package, adopted five years ago, is deviant as it calls for a six-percent shift in quota share to the emerging economies, including Russia, India, China and Brazil, even though the ad hoc plan still guarantees America's loin's share of the whole vote.

Their logic is simple, the ship could sink as long as America is OK, and all the crew members should do nothing but waiting for the captain's decision, which has taken five years and is still out of sight.

Garnering a 2.3 percent economic growth, Washington seemed to have forgotten the pain of recession and became more reluctant on reform.

However, it's arrogance on the issue is near-sighted, as further delay of the reform would dampen the painstakingly efforts of the global economy to claw back from the deepest recession since the World War II, thus putting everyone in danger, including the United States.

Moreover, it will also hurt America's credit as a responsible stakeholder of the international community and ultimately cripple its image as the global leader.

For all that, Uncle Sam is strongly advised to drop the dangerous game of political brinkmanship and pass the reform plan as soon as possible, so as to win back the world's trust in its strong leadership.

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