Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is upset. He is upset with the IMF. He is upset with the US Treasury Department. He is upset with Barack Obama. You might say he was gutted. What has caused him to be so cheesed off?
If the International Monetary Fund and its co-conspirators in the Treasury wish to deter undecided voters from flirting with Brexit, they have certainly failed in my case.
They have each told the Brits what to do about Brexit.
Having listened to their irritating lectures, I am more inclined to opt for defiance, for their mask of objectivity has fallen.
Ambrose is joining the club – seen most overtly in the reaction to Trump’s campaign: every time some supposed authoritarian speaks, telling us what to do, many decide that the opposite – no matter how crazy sounding – is probably the right choice.
There can no longer be any doubt that they are playing politics with the democratic self-determination of this country.
Ambrose, there never was any doubt. Not just for your country – for any country. When politicians are involved, they are always playing politics. You can’t be so daft.
He finds that figures don’t lie, but liars figure. The IMF reports that the price of credit default swaps on UK sovereign debt has increased a good amount since all this nonsense about Brexit began. What the IMF doesn’t point out – but Ambrose does – is that the cost of credit default swaps has increased for the sovereign debt of several major economies around the world during this same time.
He then goes down to tear the IMF a new arsehole:
Perhaps it is churlish to point out that the IMF completely missed the onset of the global financial crisis, and was blindsided when the US fell into recession in November 2007. The Fund’s staff were still predicting sunlit uplands as far as the eye could see, even when the blackest of black storms was upon them.
They missed only the biggest global economic event since at least the end of World War II.
Its forecasts for Greece were wrong every single year following the rescue of the euro and the North European banking system in 2010, otherwise known by some cruel twist of language as the Greek bail-out.
They originally said the Greek economy would contract by 2.6pc in 2010 and then recover briskly. What actually happened – as predicted at the time by the Indian member of the IMF board – was the most spectacular collapse of a developed economy in the post-war era.
Output ultimately fell by 26pc from peak to trough. To its credit, the IMF later admitted that it had horribly misjudged the fiscal multiplier. Indeed.
Wow! He’s really full of beans!
He then tears apart about a dozen IMF strawmen regarding what will happen to British trade, etc. He does so smashingly.
Instead of compelling economic analysis, the IMF is offering up pavement pizza according to Ambrose:
There may be compelling reasons for Britain to remain in the EU, but they have nothing to do with the bogus claims advanced today by the IMF. So take your rotting pile of damp wood elsewhere Madame Lagarde.
So, has he given up on this monstrosity?
I don’t wish [to] denigrate the Fund. It remains a superb institution.