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IMF in Ireland Wants Faster Repossession, Ignored Fall-Out from Austerity, Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 4 -- The idea of a kinder and gentler International Monetary Fund under Christine Lagarde was belied again Friday with the release, first under embargo, of the IMF's staff report on Ireland. Among other recommendations, the IMF calls for faster foreclosures or repossession. From Paragraph 24:

"Strengthening Ireland’s repossession framework could further support progress in durable loan modifications... Court proceedings and enforcement of court orders can be lengthy, adding to resolution costs where a change in ownership is the only available solution, and underminingborrowers’ incentives to engage on concluding loan modifications and to adhere to the revised debt service schedule.... Based on a terms of reference agreed with EC, ECB, and IMF staff, they will also appoint an internal expert group to review the length, predictability, and cost of proceedings, including relative to peer jurisdictions, and to propose remedies by end 2013."

  So: faster evictions, reduction in borrowers' leverage. On the embargoed press conference call, on which it was not clear how questions were selected, the IMF's Ireland Mission Chief Craig Beaumont also called for faster fiscal consolidation: that is, merger. Where will it lead?

  In the IMF's biweekly media briefing on September 26, Lagarde spokesperson Gerry Rice answered a question about the depreciation of the rupee in Pakistan by saying not only is it not the IMF's fault, the IMF will solve it.

  A journalist down from the UN asked Rice about the view that the rise of "Golden Dawn" in Greece is related to austerity policies. Oh no. Of course not.

  From New York, Inner City Press has asked the IMF about Sudan (and South Sudan, and Palestine) --

On Sudan and the deadly protests there of the elimination of fuel subsidies, does the IMF have any view if the elimination was implemented too quickly? What is the status between the IMF and Khartoum, including on any debt relief?

On South Sudan, what is the status of discussions on a Rapid Credit Facility and a government program to be monitored by IMF staff?

On Palestine, what is the IMF's view of yesterday's Communique by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee?

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