(Originally posted shortly after midnight; carried forward because of the importance of the underlying story.)
Sometimes, I think that we wouldn’t have a useful press at all if it weren’t for the British press.
The big news out of the International Monetary Fund this weekend was, as reported by the UK Telegraph, that it “may need billions in extra funding.” Specifically, it “may have to tap its members – including Britain – for billions of pounds of extra funding to stem the European debt crisis.”
In other words, the IMF doesn’t have enough money to address the potential problems it sees on its own:
The head of the IMF has warned that its $384bn (£248bn) war chest designed as an emergency bail-out fund is inadequate to deliver the scale of the support required by troubled states.
… In a document distributed to the IMF steering committee at the weekend, Ms Lagarde said: “The fund’s credibility, and hence effectiveness, rests on its perceived capacity to cope with worst-case scenarios. Our lending capacity of almost $400bn looks comfortable today, but pales in comparison with the potential financing needs of vulnerable countries and crisis bystanders.”
Headlines at U.S. establishment press outlets indicating the potential degree of the IMF’s problems are notably absent.
Now, to its credit, Bloomberg opened a Saturday evening story as follows:
The International Monetary Fund’s $384 billion lending chest may not be enough to meet all loan requests if the global economy worsens, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
That’s nice, but (you won’t believe this), the story’s headline (“European Stocks Decline as Fed Sees ‘Significant’ Global Economic Risks”) is a carryover from Friday (partial screen cap here for future reference). The words “stocks” and “Fed” don’t even appear in the article. This would explain why it escaped Matt Drudge’s eagle eye until several hours ago. It seems like a major screwup, but it’s awfully convenient.
Meanwhile, over at the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Marty Crutsinger either didn’t have a clue or avoided mentioning the problem, as seen below:
I would suggest that the final word of the final sentence should really be “needed.”
A longer AP report by Crutsinger and Gabriele Steinhauser datelined Friday evening (“World powers seek to contain Europe debt crisis”) also avoided the IMF’s fundamental problem, unless you count the following paragraph as getting close — which I don’t:
The IMF statement said the fund stood ready to back further efforts to deal with the crisis beyond bailout support for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
If you add “if its gets extra money from other countries,” you might be in the neighborhood.
But, as has been seen so many times before, to get the full report, one has to cross the Atlantic.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.