The International Monetary Fund endorsed nations’ use of capital controls in certain circumstances, making official a shift, which has been in the works for three years, that will guide the fund’s advice.In a reversal of its historic support for unrestricted flows of money across borders, the Washington-based IMF said controls can be useful when countries have little room for economic policies such as lowering interest rates or when surging capital inflows threaten financial stability. Still, it said the measures should be targeted, temporary and not discriminate between residents and non-residents.“Capital flows can have important benefits for individual countries across the fund membership and the global economy,” IMF staff wrote in a report discussed by the board on Nov. 16 and published today. They “also carry risks, however, as they can be volatile and large relative to the size of domestic markets.”Countries from Brazil to the Philippines have sought in recent years to manage inflows of capital that put upward pressure on their currencies and threatened to create asset bubbles. The new guidelines will enable the fund to provide consistent advice, though rules prevent it from imposing views about managing capital flows on its 188 member nations.
Capital controls are part of the grand scheme of financial repression policies designed by bankrupt governments to expropriate private sector resources.Aside from capital controls, other measures include, raising taxes, inflationism, negative interest rates, price controls and various regulatory proscriptions
The idea that capital controls and fixing the external value of a currency can strengthen economic fundamentals is flawed. While capital controls may help boost economic activity in terms of GDP, they cannot lift the real net worth of the economy. On the contrary, capital controls will only add to distortions caused by the monetary pumping and the artificial lowering of interest rates, thereby making the inevitable economic bust much more severe.