Your call for interest-rate and tax cuts to help address the spreading threat of global deflation is well justified, especially given the historically high real cost of credit you cite. Your call for new money for the International Monetary Fund, however, is ill-considered and discredits your other arguments (''Give the IMF its due,'' Editorial, Aug. 3).

Expecting the IMF to promote ''pro-growth'' policies, as you suggest, is absurd. With one or two exceptions, the economists and other ''professionals'' who populate the IMF have not the slightest idea how to operate a private business or bank, much less direct the movements of a nation's political economy. Most (if not all) of the IMF gnomes could never find work in a for-profit company or financial institution, at least not in those parts of said organizations related to operations or taking risk. Why should the world take advice from people who cannot play the game?

Use new money for the IMF to forgive loans and reduce debt, then close down this useless institution. Now that would help to promote pro-growth, free-market policies.

Christopher Whalen
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.


Updated Sept. 17, 1998 by bwwebmaster
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