`Why do they always take the most pessimistic view?'
"Why do they [the IMF] always take the most pessimistic view?" said an Asian government official from one of the countries receiving an IMF loan. "With things being as they are, if they talk us down it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy'
The IMF's new figures are, in most cases, more pessimistic than official forecasts from the individual countries although some of these have yet to be published because individual government forecasters keep being forced back to the drawing board as fresh news of disaster trickles in.
"Undoubtedly, people are going to feel the pain of this adjustment," said Michael Musa, the IMF's chief economist, when he presented the new figures.
The IMF is not alone in admitting that the extent of the financial crisis and its effect on Asia came as a surprise.
It said that it was now uncertain how long the crisis would last and feared that the market turmoil could spread even further.
The IMF, which in recent months has organised a record bail-out of more than $100bn for Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea, warned again that it was looking for the patients to swallow some bitter medicine in return for its rescue efforts.
In essence, the medicine consists of tough fiscal reforms, curbs on lending to reduce inflationary pressure and, although not explicitly stated, widespread closures of companies which are heavily in debt.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has vowed that his country will not go to the IMF, despite its economic woes, because he views IMF conditions as a recipe for allowing Western companies to buy cheap assets in Asian markets. Moreover, he has asked why the Western bankers who freely distributed excessive amounts of credit should not have to suffer the same consequences as the recipients.
Dr Mahathir's views are increasingly gaining an audience in the region, not least in South Korea, the biggest recipient of IMF funds.
The President-elect, Kim Dae-jung, has again stressed that he will abide by the terms of the IMF loan agreement but is also pledged to avoid widespread unemployment, an inevitable consequence of the fund's requirements.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...