Sunday, 12 June 2011

The IMF Maintaining Capitalisms World Dominating Position

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organisation of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

Well at least that’s what it says on it’s website, but in reality, what is the IMF, we hear a lot about it in our daily news these days. For me I remember the IMF back in the 1970s. Well to be precise 1976 and a year that economists are said to be especially inclined to consider a year best forgotten. Founded after World War II to build a working international system for currency exchange and to avert economic crises, the Washington, D.C.-based IMF currently counts some 187 countries amongst its membership.

The Fund has deposits from member countries – commonly called "quotas" – totaling some $340 billion, with additional commitments for about $600 billion from member governments should the funds be needed. 

And as I recall as a young twenty year old it wasn't really that bad a time for me and a great many of the population;  and an index of economic, social and environmental progress even declared 1976 to be the best on record for quality of life in Britain.

So I view that year as the year when things began to drastically slide, and please remember that we were still two and a bit years away from the election of the Iron Maiden, the one and only Margret Thatcher, and her hard hitting Tory governments. When I think back on it now, just can’t help wondering if the IMF played a major part in sending the Labour Party into that downward spiral of a spin that has bejewelled and bequeathed us with what we have today.

Some notable similarity's of yesteryear though, one being that the weather delivered Britain's worst drought for nearly 250 years, an economic crisis, unlike now which is global in nature, and for for the time being, not requiring intervention by the IMF.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) think-tank, adjusted the official gross domestic product (GDP) to provide a more accurate sense of well-being, and insisted that the year represents a golden age of lower crime, lower energy consumption and less global destruction. 

Let me just run that by you once more - lower crime, lower energy consumption and less global destruction?”

Well as they say ‘Goodness my Guinness’ - a different world to what we have today comrades. This really does pose the question of what happened. Well my memory is really fading with age, but I do remember that people were more happy and content back then, most had job’s and working class children more of them were going on to a free university education than ever before. We had a trade union movement to be proud of with leaders who cannot be held up in comparison to some of those we have today. At seventeen I was elected a shop-steward  which was a great privilege that I will never forget especially when I had the support and tons of encouragement from older more experienced members in the movement at every level.

There I go again off on one, with the many reminiscences of a time sadly past. But back onto the beat of the IMF then. This organisation has indeed been in the news for very much all the wrong reasons, not just that the IMF told our great Chancellor to stick to his deficit plan through the thick and thin of it all, but the scandal that erupted with its former chief Dominique Strauss now awaiting trial on sex crime charges, whether or not this has any implications on its reputation is neither here nor there. All we need to know is this is an organisation that works in the interests of international capital. Osborne may well be on good terms with these bankers because of his and his party’s connections and interests in and with the the world of finance.

The IMF, backed by central banks in the US and Europe, has taken drastic steps since 2008 to prop up economies around the world from Asia to Eastern Europe and Latin America. In as many months we have seen this organisation impose tough austerity measures and conditions, Greece, Spain and Portugal come to mind and deals made with Iceland, Ukraine and Hungary were not at first made public, but the impact was clear and evident.

The IMF has about $254 billion out in loans committed today (only $64 billion which has been deployed). The biggest borrower are Romania, Ukraine and Greece.
What is true, is that the IMF can in no way be seen as a force for good in the world, all the cards of this organisation are held by the stronger nations of Europe and America, and between them they have the real say in dictating economic policy; policy that fits their world agenda, a sort of economic imperialism administrable only by western capitalism. The western media is quick to claim that Tunisian dictator, General Zine el Abidine Ben Ali is single handily responsible for the civil and economic unrest that has plagued Tunisia since he was placed in power in November 1987. What is less widely known is that it is actually the IMF and Wall Street that is responsible for the extreme mistreatment of the Tunisian people. It was the IMF who demanded the stringent guidelines which include the “firing of public sector workers, the elimination of price controls over essential consumer goods and the implementation of a sweeping privatization program”.  These demands were all made by the IMF and were strictly followed by their puppet, General Ben Ali, whom the IMF and World Bank placed in power when the former president, Habib Bourguiba, refused to comply with the demands.
In 2010 the IMF further demanded, ‘’the removal of remaining subsidies as a means of achieving fiscal balance”. These demands have directly led to high levels of poverty, unemployment and inflation which stem from the dictatorship of the IMF and the manipulation of speculative trade on Wall Street. The removal of the dictator Ben Ali will do nothing to change the problems Tunisia is facing because the interim president, Fouad Mebazza, was handpicked, as were all other possible candidates, by the IMF.

The World Bank and IMF have been restructuring the economies of the Middle East for decades, with largely negative results. Now in the wake of the respective revolutions they are poised to play a major role in the post-revolutionary efforts to stabilise Egypt, Tunisia and other post-authoritarian states.

On Friday experts were saying that the global economic recovery has now stalled after the Dow Jones Index fell for the first time since March and drove the stock market lower for the sixth straight week, and Friday's drop extended the longest weekly losing streak for stocks since 2002.

So what is beginning to become clear is that the US economy is in real trouble and I must add whilst the UK teeters on the brink of another, even worst, recession - high unemployment and wide spread poverty, shrinking home markets,means that western capital will of course be eager to maintain its world dominating position especially 
through a colossal escalation of militarisation. The US military are now waging simultaneous drone missile attacks, bombings, special forces-assassination raids and ground combat in five separate countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen. Pakistan, Libya and Yemen.

President Barack Obama, who owed his 2008 election victory in large measure to the popular revulsion felt by millions of Americans toward the wars of aggression launched by the Bush administration in both Afghanistan and Iraq, has more than fulfilled George W. Bush’s predictions concerning the “wars of the 21st century.” So blatantly does the US, its chosen friends and aligned protagonists, use financial and military muscle to force their ways onto the world, no mater what the consequences are for millions!"

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