The Washington Consensus Lives On In Pakistan

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 11/10/2013 08:38:00 AM
There is a photo essay on American shopping malls that I found quite amusing on Yahoo! featuring pictures taken by an obviously obsessive chap who took lots of them during that era of high consumerism, the Eighties, entitled "Big Hair, Smoking, and Record Stores." While the IMF now styles itself as not your grandpa's IMF in being a kinder, gentler lender of last resort, I had a distinct 45 RPM retro flashback while reading its latest press release concerning its recent staff mission to Pakistan (where they are not quite fond of Yanquis).

Much as the IMF would like to say otherwise, it seems we have not yet gotten away from the greatest hits of one-size-fits-all quite yet. Liberalization, privatization, deregulation...structural adjustment there anything new?

Structural adjustment:
The mission was also pleased with the strong fiscal performance in the first quarter of 2013/14 and the steady implementation of the government’s structural reform agenda...
Fiscal consolidation remains a key component of the government’s economic reform program. The mission was encouraged by the government’s efforts to enhance tax revenues, which slightly exceeded the program target level.
The government is moving forward with the privatization or restructuring of 31 public sector enterprises to improve public sector resource allocation and limit poor performance.
The authorities are also working towards significant structural reforms in the areas of trade and the business climate to encourage higher investment.
Everything old is new again, and I am afraid that we have not quite gotten into the New Wave, let alone the Alternative era at the IMF since the song remains the same. Is that doom metal? Would you like to, ah, break dance?