International Monetary Fund: A heartbreaking story!
Published : Sunday, 30 December, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 1631
The IMF is our globe's leading, monetary agency, created for public purpose.....to maintain the stability of our world 's financial system. This is carried out efficiently, through loans which are linked to proposals designed to enhance economic recovery and growth of nations. This international agency has remained under the control of the US and Western European states. Its policies have been designed to further the expansion, domination and profits of their leading multi-national corporations, and financial institutions.
The US and European states have created institutions, which are governed by policy, rules and regulations, which administer them. Traditionally, this monetary agency ....IMF, has practiced a division of powers, whereby, the executive directors of the global institution are Europeans; and their counterparts in the World Bank (WB) are from the United States. The designated executive directors of the IMF and WB operate, in close consultation with their governments, and particularly, the country's Department of Treasury, while deciding their priorities. Or, when taking a decision about the countries which qualify for loans, or the countries that will receive loans, along with the terms and conditions of their respective, financial undertakings.
The loans and their terms, set by the IMF are closely coordinated with the private banking system. Once the IMF signs an agreement with a debtor country, it is a signal for the big private banks in that country, to lend, invest and proceed with a profusion of favourable, financial transactions.
Therefore, the IMF plays the role of the general command, for shaping the entire global, financial system. In doing so, this International organization has laid the groundwork for wielding the financial systems of the world's vulnerable states. As the IMF conducts its affairs, it assumes the burden of doing all the dirty work through its continued, powerful 'interventions' Often, this has included......playing with the borrower nation's sovereignty.
More than often, the IMF has demanded for the borrowing country's privatization and reduction of social expenditures, salaries, wages and pensions. The global body has seriously, gone to the extent of ensuring even the priority of debt payments. In truth, the IMF has acted as the 'Venetian blind' for the big global banks, by deflecting political critics and social unrest. And also, catering to the working privacy, behind the closed doors of this body.
The global body's corporate missions are achieved through the office of the Executive Director of the IMF. A qualified banker, an economist and a bureaucrat who is more than likely to be appointed to this coveted office. And, is generally entrusted with the task of playing with the viability of the nations, that are forced to borrow from the International Monetary Fund. More often than not, the privileged Executive Director of this body is at liberty to violate even the sovereign rights of country borrowing money for their urgent needs.....thereby impoverishing its people and eroding its democratic institutions. This is often done to force the borrower countries to tow the line, dictated by the superpower, the United States and allies.
We may be in for many more surprises. The Directors of this global institution, who held their office in the past, have included a convict and financial swindler. The current director is facing prosecution, on charges of mishandling public funds as a Finance minister; an alleged rapist; an advocate of gunboat diplomacy and the promoter of the biggest financial collapse in Greece's recent history.
The current executive director of the IMF (July 2011-2015) Christine Lagarde is on trial in France, for misappropriation of a $400-million-dollar payoff, to tycoon Bernard Tapie while she was Finance Minister in the government of President Sarkozy. The previous executive director (November 2007-May 2011), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was forced to resign after he was charged with raping a chambermaid in a New York hotel, and was later arrested and tried for pimping in the city of Lille, France.
His predecessor, Rodrigo Rato (June 2004-October 2007), was a Spanish banker who was arrested and charged with tax evasion, concealing ?27 million euros in seventy overseas banks and swindling thousands of small investors who he convinced to put their money in a Spanish bank, Bankia, that went bankrupt.
Again, his predecessor a German, Horst Kohler, resigned after he stated an unlikely truth--that overseas military intervention was necessary to defend German economic interests, such as free trade routes. It is just one thing for the IMF to act as a tool for imperial interests; it is yet another, for an IMF executives to speak about it publicly!
Michel Camdessus (January 1987-February 2000) was the author of the "Washington Consensus"....a doctrine that has underwritten the global, neoliberal counter-revolution. His term of office has witnessed his embrace and also the financing of some of the worst dictators of the time, including his own photo-ops, with Indonesian strongman and mass murderer, of his times, General Suharto.
Under Camdessus, the IMF collaborated with Argentine President Carlos Menem in liberalizing the economy, deregulating financial markets and privatizing over a thousand enterprises. The crises, which ensued, led to the worst depression in Argentine history, with over 20,000 bankruptcies, 25% unemployment and poverty rates exceeding 50% in working class districts....Camdessus later regretted his "policy mistakes" with regard to the Argentine's collapse. He was never arrested or charged with crimes against humanity.
The so called questionable (perhaps, criminal) behaviour of the IMF executives has not been an anomaly or hindrance to their selection. On the contrary, they were selected because they reflected the values, interests and behaviour of the global financial elite.....swindles, tax evasion, bribery, large-scale transfers of public wealth to private accounts are the absolute norm for this financial establishment.
These peculiarities have gone hand in gloves with the needs of bankers who have shared confidence, in dealing with their 'mirror-image' counterparts, holding office in the International Monetary Fund Without any doubts, the global 'financial elite' has needed IMF executives who have no qualms in using double standards. And also, overlooking the gross violations of its standard procedures. For example, the current executive director, Christine Lagarde, has lended 30 billion dollars to the puppet regime in the Ukraine, even though the financial press describes in great detail, how corrupt oligarchs have stolen billions with the complicity of the political class (quoted from the Financial Times (dated December 21, page 7).
The same Lagarde had changed the rules on debt repayment, allowing the Ukraine to default on its payment of its sovereign debt to Russia. Again it was the same Lagarde who insisted that the center-right Greek government further reduced pensions in Greece below the poverty level, provoking the otherwise accommodating regime of Alexis Tsipras, to call for the IMF to stay out of the bailout (quoted by Financial Times, December 21, 2015, page 1).
Clearly speaking, the savage cut in living standards, which the IMF executives decree everywhere, is not unrelated to their shrouded personal history. Rapists, swindlers, militarists, are just the right people to direct an institution as it impoverishes the 99% and enriches the 1% of the global rich.
Pakistan's Zardari and Sharif are fairly good examples of the super duper rich men's club, who made their fortunes by collaborating with global financial institutions, while they remained in office. And, they are paying a price for this!
The author is a former educator based in Chicago (USA)