Letter: Blame the IMF

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Sir: The riots in Indonesia should come as no surprise to those who have followed the exploits of the IMF over the years. When researching a BBC documentary on world hunger, I discovered that across the globe intervention by the IMF is followed time and time again by social chaos. This phenomenon is so well known in the field that the results are often colloquially referred to as "IMF riots".

This puts an even grimmer complexion on the G8 insistence that poor countries follow the IMF-approved "structural adjustment programme" before receiving debt relief. In Indonesia, the political after-effects may turn out, inadvertently, to be positive. In other countries we may not be so lucky.