Well, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says we are headed into an extended economic slump.  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

Wait, don’t go all Glenn Beck, buying gold and arming yourself.  The IMF has a staggering history of getting country-specific analyses completely wrong.  From structural adjustment to currency stabilization, the IMF has packed quite a bit of failure into its (just over) sixty years of existence.  They are better at the regional to global level, which is where their real purview is anyway.

The IMF was set up in the dying days of World War II to ensure global economic stability, which gave it a mandate at the global and regional levels.  However, it really lacks a mandate at the national level (though it can influence the credit ratings of individual countries), and it shows in their often-faulty analysis . . . simply put, they don’t do fieldwork.  They have absolutely no idea what is really happening in the countries they analyze and on which they pass judgement.  So I tend to ignore their statements about individual countries.

I find it funny that the Telegraph’s article quotes Joseph Stiglitz on the likelihood of an economic “death spiral” in Europe. After all, Stiglitz has referred to the IMF as a bunch of third-rate economists from first-rate economics departments . . . in other words, the ones who couldn’t get jobs in finance.  And look what the “good ones” got us into . . .

Which leads to another thought – how bad do the economists have to screw things up before people finally start doubting them as fonts of truth?