Laid Low, the latest book by CIGI Senior Fellow Paul Blustein goes behind the scenes at the highest levels of global economic policy making, chronicling the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s role in the euro-zone crisis. 

Opening with the sensational arrest of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn during a pivotal point in the crisis, the book makes clear that this sordid episode was only one in a series of setbacks for the IMF as financial conflagration spread from Greece to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus — threatening to engulf a region comprising nearly one-fifth of world economic output.

Blustein lays bare how the IMF joined in bailouts that all too often piled debt atop debt and imposed excessively harsh conditions on crisis-stricken countries. As the book reveals, IMF officials had grave misgivings about a number of these rescues, but went along at the insistence of powerful European policy makers — to the detriment of the Fund's credibility, with disheartening implications for the management of future crises. 

On October 6, George Washington University Law School and CIGI will co-host a discussion on Laid Low. Paul Blustein will present his new book, followed by commentary from:

  • Nicolas Véron, Senior Fellow, Bruegel; Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Miranda Xafa, CIGI Senior Fellow, former IMF Board member
  • Carlo Bastasin, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; author, Saving Europe 

Event Speakers

Photo of Paul Blustein

Paul Blustein

CIGI Senior Fellow

Paul Blustein is a CIGI senior fellow. An award-winning journalist and author, he has written extensively about international economics, trade and financial crises. Prior to joining CIGI in 2010, Paul was a journalist-in-residence at the Brookings Institution, a staff writer for The Washington Post and the chief economic correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. Paul recently released his fifth book, Laid Low: Inside the Crisis That Overwhelmed Europe and the IMF, and he is currently working on a book about China and the global trading system, which will be published by CIGI in early 2019.

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