This Isn’t Your Father’s IMF

Yesterday I came across this tidbit, published yesterday by the IMF. It’s a synopsis of a speech made by Peter Heller, IMF Deputy Director for Fiscal Affairs:

Over the last decade, the IMF has moved forcefully to integrate issues of poverty reduction into the mainstream of its policy objectives in fostering growth and employment creation. This presentation examines the Fund’s perspective on the promotion of poverty reduction and improved distributional outcomes. It examines the relative balance that must be sought as between strictly growth-enhancing policies and those policies that are specifically targeted at poverty reduction and equity. It also explores how issues of social justice and environmental sustainability are taken into account by the Fund in working with its member countries.

Social justice? Environmental sustainability? Boy, the IMF sure has changed since the good old days when it was simply a source of short-term dollar loans for central banks during currency crunches under the Bretton-Woods system. It seems like they’ve really taken some of the criticism they’ve received over the past decade to heart…