The Washington Consensus

  • Imad A. MoosaEmail author
  • Nisreen Moosa


The Washington Consensus is a set of ten policy prescriptions promoted by institutions based in Washington, DC—primarily, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the US Treasury. The Consensus is associated with neoliberal policies in general and the free-market doctrine that encourages a diminishing role for the government in economic activity. The policy prescriptions (the ten commandments) include fiscal policy discipline, redirection of public spending, tax reform, market-determined interest rates, maintaining “competitive” exchange rates, trade liberalisation, liberalisation of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), privatisation of state enterprises, deregulation and legal security for property rights. It is demonstrated that the Washington preachers themselves do not abide by the ten commandments and that the commandments are imposed on developing countries for the benefit of multinationals.


Fiscal policy discipline Tax reform Trade liberalisation Foreign direct investment Privatisation Deregulation Property rights 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsRMIT School of EconomicsMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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