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We face a global economic and financial meltdown that may yet rival the Great Depression. If national economic and financial policies are sufficiently focused and mutually supportive, we can avoid the trade and financial protectionism and competitive exchange-rate devaluations that exacerbated economic distress eight decades ago. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and what is now the World Trade Organization were established at the end of World War II to mitigate, if not prevent, recurrence of such destructive policies. The question is whether the IMF in particular is up to its assigned task. The answer is that the author hopes so, but the Fund needs our help.
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