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Historically regarded as a villain that has obstructed the prosperity of “developing nations”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has taken many of its critics by surprise. It is now saying that exchange controls (finally on outward flows, not just inflows) are precisely what “developing nations” need to exercise sovereignty. But it’s not just its recommendation of controls that’s so surprising.

In response to the coronavirus, the IMF is now offering grants or loans with comparatively low interest rates (albeit dollar denominated), and with few conditions attached. This has been sufficient for Esra (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2020-05-27-reformed-imf-has-options-with-fewer-strings-attached/)Uğurlu and Adam Aboobaker (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2020-05-27-reformed-imf-has-options-with-fewer-strings-attached/) (Reformed IMF has options with fewer strings attached, May 27) to argue that turning to the IMF is an attractive prospect to source cheap...

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