IMF Chief Economist Calls Data Integrity Paramount After Scandal
(Bloomberg) -- International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said the integrity of the organization’s data is paramount and that she is confident in its processes.
“We place an incredible amount of importance on data integrity at the IMF,” she told Guy Johnson and Alix Steel in an interview on Bloomberg Television Tuesday. “We have many checks and balances -- multiple departments, multiple economies reviewing our data forecasts, so I feel good about where we are.”
Gopinath’s comments come after the lender’s board reviewed accusations that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva improperly influenced a World Bank ranking of China’s business climate. After a review, the board on Monday said its investigation didn’t conclusively demonstrate Georgieva played an improper role in the Doing Business 2018 report.
Georgieva, the World Bank’s chief executive officer from 2017 to 2019, denied the allegations, telling the IMF board that the report did “not accurately characterize my actions” nor “accurately portray my character or the way that I have conducted myself over a long professional career.”
The IMF is expected to deliver unbiased analysis and serve as an honest broker and tough advice-giver among governments, especially those seeking its aid.
“I have personally never faced that pressure,” Gopinath said when asked if she had been put under pressure to make data fit any particular narratives.
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