Related or contrasting ideas may be found in the following sections: Nuclear Weapons, Peace, Rights, Rule of Law, and the Social Contract




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The IMF and World Bank are global leaders


The IMF is the closest thing to a world government

Chris Brazier (staff editor), “The power and the folly: unelected, unapproachable, indefensible,” New Internationalist, March 2004, p. 9

“The closest thing we have had to a world government over the last two-and-a-half decades is not the United States, despite its own tendency to behave as if that were the case. Nor is it the United Nations, still flailing around trying to assert itself as it stumbles into the 21st century with a structure born of the power politics of 1945. It is rather a secretive, unelected organization which has been hijacked by fundamentalists who have thereby gained the opportunity to dictate economic and social policy to almost every country in the world. Sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? Like the stuff of science fiction or the maddest conspiracy theory. If only that were so. The organization is the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is based in the American capital, Washington DC, and both the power it wields in the world and its appalling record in the misuse of that power should be one of the greatest scandals of our age.”


The International Monetary Fund exerts policy control on all but a handful of nations

Chris Brazier (staff editor), “The power and the folly: unelected, unapproachable, indefensible,” New Internationalist, March 2004, p. 10

“[A]ll countries in debt or seeking new loans to tide them over (which takes in all but the most fortunate nations) have to seek IMF approval of their economic policies. This does not just apply to the Fund’s own money. The World Bank requires national governments to have won the IMF seal of approval before it will fund major new projects. So too do the overseas aid departments of Western governments. In practice governments of whatever political stripe have little alternative but to knuckle under to IMF ‘advice’, even if it contravenes everything they believe in. Take President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil. The country’s first working-class leader, his electoral victory last year was hailed as an epochal moment: here was a true child of the Left at long last given the opportunity to reshape the largest country in Latin America. Yet even during the election campaign Lula was careful to calm the global financiers who were panicking at the prospect of a Workers’ Party victory — Brazil, he said, would continue to follow IMF-approved economic policies.”


The IMF and World Bank are unable to lead


The IMF is disastrous at economic guidance

Chris Brazier (staff editor), “The power and the folly: unelected, unapproachable, indefensible,” New Internationalist, March 2004, p. 11

“The IMF record in restoring countries to rude financial health is so appalling that were it a private corporation selling its advice on the open market it would long ago have gone bust. Its advice to any finance minister is exactly the same, whatever the international economic climate, whatever the local market circumstances: cut government spending; privatize your public-sector organizations; remove subsidies of all kinds; open up your economy to transnational finance and corporations. Even leaving aside the moral or political problems with such a programme, its imposition without research, without taking account of local knowledge or circumstances, is bound to result in failure. And those failures have been spectacular. In the Former Soviet Union the ideological insistence of the IMF and the World Bank on a headlong plunge into a capitalism raw in tooth and claw such as no North American or Western European would recognize, still less tolerate, proved calamitous (see Wild West goes East, page 16). In the Far East, the IMF’s dogmatic advocacy of capital-market liberalization turned to disaster. While Argentina, a once-prosperous country which had followed IMF prescriptions to the letter, was reduced to survival by barter and the begging bowl.”


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