By Bird G.R.
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Additional info for IMF Lending to Developing Countries
Indeed, there is a problem in the sense that all banks will have an incentive to reduce exposure at the first suggestion of repayment problems, yet not all of them will be able to do so, since such behaviour would certainly induce default. As a result of these characteristics bank lending is pro-cyclical rather than counter-cyclical. As the above discussion implies, lending may be only loosely related to the underlying strength of an economy or the marginal productivity of resources. Banks may have imperfect information and may misinterpret what information they do have; they may be unduly influenced by transient and often largely cosmetic factors or, in syndicated loans, by the views and prestige of the â leadâ bank.
19 This has symptomised the fragility of their balance of payments. This fragility, scant access to private sources of financing and their small cushion of international reserves have pushed low-income countries more heavily to the Fund than other groups. When there has been a move within the Fund towards stricter conditionally, this has therefore had a particularly marked < previous page page_45 next page > < previous page page_46 next page > Page 46 effect on such countries, which will, as a result, be more affected by any inappropriateness in the nature of Fund conditionality.
It was, for example, the desire to avoid IMF conditionality that led Latin American IMF LENDING TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 39 40 IMF LENDING TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES countries to borrow from the commercial banks during the 1970s and early 1980s in preference to the Fund. If IMF conditionality is not, and is not perceived as, a soft option, it may reasonably be presumed that conditionality more than offsets any moral hazard associated with the Fundâ s provision of relatively cheap finance. By the same token, of course, any relaxation in conditionality may enhance the moral hazard criticism.
IMF Lending to Developing Countries by Bird G.R.