By Simon Johnson
International economic policy making is a contender for the title of “most boring important topic” in economics. And within the field there is nothing quite as dull as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Try getting an article about the Fund on the front page of any newspaper.
And even for aficionados of the Fund, the issues associated with reforming its “quota” and “voting rights” seem arcane – and are fully understood by few.
Dullness in this context is not an accident – it’s a protective wrapping against political interference, particularly by the US Congress.
Now, however, the IMF needs a change in its ownership structure, and the sole remaining holdup is Congress.
The Obama administration let this issue slide for a long while, and then attempted to link it with financial aid being extended to Ukraine. That attempt failed last week.
In a column for Project Syndicate, I discuss why this matters and what comes next. Try not to fall asleep.