Monday, August 25, 2008

The Washington Consensus - what is it ?

The term Washington Consensus was initially coined in 1989 by John Williamson to describe a set of ten specific economic policy prescriptions that he considered to constitute a "standard" reform package promoted for crisis-wracked developing countries by Washington, D.C-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department.

Subsequently, as Williamson himself has pointed out, the term has come to be used in a different and broader sense, as a synonym for market fundamentalism; in this broader sense, Williamson states, it has been criticized by George Soros and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz. The Washington Consensus is also criticized by others such as some Latin American politicians and heterodox economists.

The term has become associated with neoliberal policies in general and drawn into the broader debate over the expanding role of the free market, constraints upon the state, and US influence on other countries' national sovereignty.

Source Wikipedia

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