Colonialism's cloak

pnbrownSeptember 29, 2012

A good opinion piece here, from al-jazeera, on the vile World "Bank". One reason why I take no part in the stock market.

Here is a link that might be useful: wealth pump

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Privateers pirating, on a grand and modern global scale.

The only way I can see capitalism working is if ethics, empathy, and integrity are kept tightly intact... and that's not happening.

I want nothing to do with any stock market, or banks... any more than I have to.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:02AM
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david52 Zone 6

Unless things have changed dramatically in the past 20 years, and I haven't heard that they had, the author is getting the World Bank and the IMF - and what each do - mixed up.

The World Bank will finance your irrigation scheme, your electric power lines, maybe an hydroelectric dam. Schools and teachers, hospitals and doctors. They won't finance a gold or copper mine, but stuff that enhances the countries' infrastructure and the basic building blocks of building an economy.

The IMF, on the other hand, shows up when the country is drowning in debt and just about to default. But the loans that are causing the trouble rarely originate from the World Bank, they originate from private banks like Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Barclays, etc. making loans to state-backed enterprises, directly to some ministry, maybe even a direct loan to the country.

In the 70's, I used to see these guys on the flights to and from Africa, going out looking for somebody to loan money to - they were even loaning money to some of the outfits I worked for - regional development boards, and the guys would take the money and buy a fleet of Range Rovers.

Then finally, the central bank of the countries would start getting notices of the interest due, and the whole 'loans to everybody' thing came screeching to a halt. But it was too late, and many of the countries were now up to their eyeballs in debt with no way of paying it back.

Enter the IMF and their 'structural adjustment program' which is based on a totally ideological dream of how capitalism should work - so privatize everything, devalue the currency, cut way back on gvt spending - which means health and education, because somehow military spending is sacrosanct, and you end up with all these empty hospitals and empty colleges that the World Bank built.

Now who sweeps up the now dirt cheap resources? Well there they are again, the western banks loaning money to western investors.

As some sort of debt relief, they private banks, with some nudging and payments from the lending country, will forgive some of the loans, while others are sold off at pennies on the dollar. And now we are seeing scoundrels trying to squeeze even more money out of these desperately poor countries by buying up this debt and using the US courts to force payment via seizure of any assets that these countries might have in any US banks.

The same thing is happening now in Greece and likely Spain. So all that grief and getting rid of pensions, slashing salaries, slashing health and education that went on in Africa now goes on in Europe, because of 'austerity' and the need to bail out the German banks who made the iffy loans.

I'm not arguing with the basic premises of the article, I just believe that he has his roles and responsibilities of the two institutions mixed up. I also think appointing Dr. Kim to the program is the best thing that could have happened. I'd say give Dr. Kim a couple of years and lets see what he comes up with. To get an idea of what Dr. Kim has been doing his whole life, I'd suggest the book at the link - The book is mainly about Dr. Farmer, but Dr. Kim plays a major role.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mountains Beyond Mountains

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Oh, he's that Dr Kim? I'll be darned, I completely missed that connection. I read that book a few years ago.

Thanks for pointing it out.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Greed is greed... does it matter what title it goes by?

I'm always hopeful that someone with a conscience can work a miracle or two... so, we'll wait and see what Dr. Kim does... but I'm not holding my breath. There are too many powerful players in the mix.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:10PM
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