Call him a caudillio, call him a dictator, call him whatever you want but Chavez has shrewdly used his oil revenue to help Latin American countries avoid the dictatorial terms on which the IMF makes its loans. The end result is that Latin and South America are able to access foreign cash without going hat in hand to the IMF. Interestingly one of the other consequences is that Chavez is helping bankrupt the IMF. In related news Poor Paul Wolfiwitz is himself going hat-in-hand looking for 18-25 billion dollars to keep The Bank solvent.

Of course a recession would be just what the doctor ordered for the Fund.  As commodity prices tanked so too would Latin and South American economies and Chavez’s capacity to make cheep condition free loans.