Developing countries from across the world, including Africa, are portraying themselves as "innocent bystanders" of the economic storm boiling out of Europe and the United States, and have joined the chorus calling on the European nations in crisis to bite the bullet of painful economic reforms.
"It is not easy, it is painful, and we went through the pain, and the Europeans must be prepared to go through the pain," African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka told Reuters in an interview.
He said the reforms needed in the ailing southern European states involved the kind of overhauls of public finances and labor markets and other structural reforms that African nations -- with firm urging from the IMF and World Bank -- had tackled over the last two decades and now had results to show for it.
Fund and Bank experts say sound macroeconomic reforms and better budget management are some factors that have helped propel robust growth in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. This has given the region one of the brightest outlooks of any region amid the prevailing gloom.
So what kind of reforms did the IMF suggest, that produced these excellent results?
The IMF sometimes advocates “austerity programmes,” cutting public spending and increasing taxes even when the economy is weak, in order to bring budgets closer to a balance, thus reducing budget deficits. Countries are often advised to lower their corporate tax rate.Really. That sounds vaguely familiar.
Oh, in other news, President Obama gave a speech. He says that the proposed GOP reforms would "cripple America." Fortunately, he'll be there to keep those reforms from happening.