A new curiosity over the International Monetary Fund peaked this week as IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn spent time in jail on charges of sexual assault. The organization monitors and advises global fiscal policy, seeks to reduce poverty, and promotes sustainability around the world. That role also lends itself to backing loans for troubled countries—like those in debt crises in the European Union. As Bruce Stokes reports in this week’s National Journal magazine, Strauss-Kahn elevated IMF’s influence and Lipsky, the acting director, “doesn’t enjoy nearly as much status with European leaders.”
In short, one alleged pig was leading the organization supporting the indebted PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). We take a look at the PIIGS, how much trouble they’re in, and how much the IMF has loaned them for bailouts.