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Friday October 31 2008
The Guardian

So now it is China and the oil-exporting countries who, according to the prime minister, must play the leading role in preventing financial "contagion" from destroying "vulnerable economies" (Brown looks to China to strengthen IMF's hand, October 29). Not surprisingly, he omits to suggest that such countries should impose conditions in riding to the aid of the imploded financial systems of the US and Europe!

Brown is in fact opening up new dimensions to the "moral asymmetry" (to use a polite term) of global policy initiatives launched from within the dominant western economies. When its balance of payments showed a massive surplus during the 1980s, the UK stood by while Mexico and a succession of other countries were subjected to the devastating conditionality of IMF rescue packages, with merciless disregard for the developing world to whom he now feels justified in calling upon for assistance.

Dr Hugh Goodacre
University College London

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