08 June 2011
With a backdrop of a stagnating economy and a population increasingly questioning the logic of his strategy for cutting the deficit, this morning I heard the chancellor, George Osborne, defend his and the government’s policy of fast-reaching, sweeping cuts, many of which are yet to make their teeth fully felt. The IMF, he insisted, were soon to announce their backing for the strategy, and who could be a more independent (and thus compelling) judge than they?
Since Seattle 1999, the media has heralded the dawn of a new movement in Europe and America, epitomised by protests aimed at the WTO, IMF and the World Bank.
However, this 'new movement', portrayed by the media as students and anarchists from the rich and prosperous global north, is just the tip of the iceberg. In the global south, a far deeper and wide-ranging movement has been developing for years, largely ignored by the media.
Campaigners call for $40 billion of debts to be cancelled in 2020, as IMF announces $0.5 billion fund.
In recent years the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have adopted new ways of working and new rhetoric on ‘country ownership’ and ‘participation’. At the start of the 1980s, the two institutions began to make their loans and aid conditional on implementing ‘structural adjustment’ policies. The set of structural adjustment conditions, commonly referred to as the ‘Washington Consensus’, have been widely criticised both for undermining national political processes and causing widespread social and economic damage.
30 June 2011
Hadiru Mahdi, Bretton Woods Project
As Christine Lagarde is briefed on her new job as the managing director of the IMF (the World Bank’s sister organisation, set up post-war to promote economic stability) we are left to reflect on the rigged selection process and sad inevitability of her appointment. The legitimacy of the Fund, already in pieces, was dealt a further blow by this debacle.
We should learn from the experience of the failed structural adjustment policies of the 1980s and 1990s
19 October 2010
The experience of developing countries should be sounding alarm bells for us all. Austerity measures in the form of structural adjustment plans pushed by the IMF and World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s had devastating effects on the world’s poor. Poverty, inequality and injustice all increased massively as safety nets for the poorest where slashed in favour of big business.
How the IMF and World Bank have undermined development
The case for a global financial reset in the wake of Covid-19
Even in the wealthiest countries on earth, years of austerity combined with ‘market knows best’ ideology has hollowed out our ability to deal with coronavirus. But for many countries in the global south, the weakness of the public sector was not a democratic choice but was imposed by rich countries and international institutions like the IMF...
How IMF and World Bank policies tied to debt relief are undermining development
There is a common perception that the food crisis in Malawi has been caused by the floods that ruined the planting season in 2001, or by widespread government corruption and mismanagement. These undoubtedly have contributed to the crisis. But there is another cause, which has been even more significant – inappropriate policies of donor agencies, led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This is the tenth issue of our supporter magazine Ninety-Nine. Features include:
- Free trade vs democracy: The global crackdown on trade dissent
- The UK's 'hostile environment' for migrants
- Taking on the drugs giants in South Africa
- Tunisians resist the IMF
To get it delivered to your door, you just need to join us.
01 March 2012
In what is essentially a return to 1990s style structural adjustment, the Greek government has this week been forced to cut the minimum wage by another 22%, pensions by another 13%, rewrite its constitution to prioritise debt repayment and sell off even more public companies in return for another EU 'bail out'. Here is cartoonist Ben Jennings' take on it.
At the conclusion of the G20 summit, world leaders heralded the birth of a new economic system. In reality, their plans were designed to prop up an international regime still grossly skewed towards their own economic clout and historical power.
Discussion on Greece and lessons from international debt campaigns.