“I think we are not paying sufficient attention to the law of unintended consequences,” said Kristalina Georgieva, who has led the IMF as its chair and managing director since 2019, during a debate on the state of the global economy hosted by CNBC on April 21.
“We take decisions with an objective in mind and rarely think through what may happen that is not our objective. And then we wrestle with the impact of it,” she said. (Related: No end in sight for inflation: Consumers and small businesses will continue to suffer as long as the money printing continues.)
“Take any decision that is a massive decision, like the decision that we need to spend to support the economy,” she continued. “At that time, we did recognize that maybe [there’s] too much money in circulation and too few goods, but didn’t really quite think through the consequence in a way that upfront would have informed better what we do.”
Later in her speech, Georgieva half-heartedly apologized for helping to cause the inflation by comparing her colleagues in the IMF and in the central banks around the world to eight-year-old children playing soccer badly.
“Here is the ball, we are all at the ball, and we don’t cover the rest of the field,” she said. “Our ability to deal with more than one crisis at one time is very, very limited, and we have to zero in on the really big things that could determine the future and keep our attention on them.”
IMF still claims Ukraine war partially responsible for continued inflation
In the IMF’s latest half-yearly global growth forecast, the financial organization claimed that it had to reduce its economic growth estimate for 2022 from 4.4 percent to 3.6 percent due to the war in Ukraine.
“In the matter of a few weeks, the world has yet again experienced a major, transformative shock,” said IMF Chief Economist and Economic Counselor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas. “Just as a durable recovery from the pandemic-induced global economic collapse appeared in sight, the war has created the very real prospect that a large part of the recent gains will be erased.”
The IMF said every single member of the G7, as well as many of the world’s largest developing economies, would grow less rapidly this year than previously expected. There was also a strong risk that some countries might experience a worse outcome, especially if the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to even higher energy prices, entrenched inflation and bigger losses for financial markets.
“This crisis unfolds while the global economy was on a mending path, but had not yet fully recovered from the [Wuhan coronavirus] COVID pandemic, with a significant divergence between the economic recoveries of advanced economies and emerging market and developing ones,” wrote the IMF in its report. “Overall risks to economic prospects have risen sharply and policy trade-offs have become ever more challenging.”
If Georgieva’s words are any indication, the global economic crisis has more to do with the reckless money printing by central banks than with the war in Ukraine.
“How this economic brain trust missed and failed to consider that injecting trillions into the economy would cause prices to rise is a bit of a head-scratcher,” wrote Michael Maharrey for Schiff Gold. “This is economics 1010. Expanding the money supply pushes prices higher than they otherwise would be.”
He continued: “Unintended consequences are inevitable in central planning. No matter how hard the central planners try, they are going to miss stuff. No matter how smart an individual or a group of individuals might be, they don’t have all of the knowledge they need.
“The problem is that people like Georgieva don’t understand this,” he said. He believes Georgieva simply thinks that she and her team of so-called financial experts just need to work harder and try different policies to come up with a proper solution.
“And that’s where they’re wrong. They need to quit trying, get out of the way and let the market function.”
Watch the entire clip of IMF’s Georgieva admitting that they did not think through the consequences of printing too much money.
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