The New, More Humble IMF

Being an economics nerd, I’m signed up to the IMF’s email list, so that when they release a major publication (like last week’s WEO update) I’m amongst the first to know.  The funny thing is, every email from the IMF that arrives in my Outlook inbox is tagged ‘Unimportant’.  Now you might not even know that Outlook had an ‘Unimportant’ tag, but as the opposite of the little red exclamation mark signaling ‘Important’, you can choose to send your email with a little downward-pointing light blue arrow, signaling ‘Unimportant’.  But of course nobody ever bothers to make the effort to tag something as unimportant; nobody, that is, other than the IMF.  Literally, of the 13,000+ emails currently in my inbox, the *only* ones with the tag ‘Unimportant’ are from the IMF.

So what’s the deal?  Is this the IMF trying to demonstrate a little modesty?  No longer pushing their policy views on the rest of the world, just meekly letting you know they have some new ideas, and, if you’re not too busy and once you’ve gone through all your other emails, maybe you’d be interested in checking them out?

The irony, of course, is that I receive tons of far, far less important emails than those from the IMF.  For example, somehow I got six separate emails explaining how we’re switching the code we use to charge long distance calls at work – count ’em, six…


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