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CNBC Poll: Has the IMF Helped Handle The Financial Crisis

Jennifer Leigh Parker, |Writer, CNBC.com
Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011 | 1:04 PM ET

The global financial crisis continues to live up to its name.

What burned bright in the U.S. in 2008-2009 is now center stage in Europe, where the threat of economic downturns and sovereign defaults from the PIIGS — throughout Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain have reached a boiling point.

Given the scope of the crisis, a supra-national organization — namely the International Monetary Fund, backed by the World Bank — is expected to lead.

With the ability to provide million-billion dollar aid packages and monitor their implementation, the IMF plays a key role in global bailouts. Right now, however, the role — at least in dollar amounts — is a supporting one. The Fund provided only 30 billion of the 110-billion Euro aid package to Greece, with the bulk coming from European Union coffers.

Perhaps too early to compare — but in its heyday, the IMF was credited with alleviating past financial crises — most notably in Mexico in the 1980s, and the Asian contagion of 1997. Has the IGO been helpful this time around?

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