Report Reveals IMF’s Hidden Fees, and How Desperate Countries Pay the Most

Source: In These Times
by Sarah Lazare

“Loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been widely criticized for saddling poor, desperate cash-strapped countries with debt, while requiring a host of damaging reforms as a condition, from the gutting of public health systems to the imposition of austerity measures. But on top of the debt principal itself, and the interest rates countries must pay on that principal, there is a lesser-known (yet deeply pernicious) cost that is tacked on for those countries most in need: surcharges. Surcharges are extra fees that are imposed on borrowing countries on top of all the other costs, ostensibly to incentivize countries to pay back their debts more quickly, and to protect the finances of the IMF. But according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), a left-leaning think tank, these fees are predatory and punishing, imposing devastating costs on countries that, by definition, are most desperate for funds.” (09/29/21)