For instance, the World Bank is essentially an American instrument, and the United States is a food-surplus nation threatened with loss of foreign markets for farm products as modernization of European agriculture proceeds. For the World Bank to finance such institutional reforms in developing nations as would lead them toward self-sufficiency on food account would run counter to American interests. U.S. farm surpluses would become unmanageable as the overseas market for U.S. farm products dwindled. Hence, the World Bank prefers perpetuation of world poverty to the development of adequate overseas capacity to feed the peoples of developing countries.

There is a yet more subtle point to be considered. Mineral resources represent diminishing assets. It is in the interest of developing peoples to conserve such assets for their own ultimate use in manufacturing industries, as these develop within the borders of nations rich in raw materials but backward in general development. In the short run such domestic use of mineral resources is not possible because of inadequate industrial capital and consumer markets place. The specter is thus raised that in the long run these countries will find themselves depleted of resources as World Bank programs accelerate the exploitation of their mineral deposits for use by other nations.

The long-term prospect is thus for these countries to be unable to earn foreign exchange on export account sufficient to finance their required food imports. The World Bank has foreseen this. Its proposals for population limitation in these countries is a cold-blooded attempt to extort from them their mineral resources, without assuming responsibility for the sustenance of these peoples once the industrialized West has stripped them of their fuel and mineral deposits.

Consider the alternative, that World Bank loans and technical assistance foster agricultural self-sufficiency among these peoples. Assume substantial success in this endeavor in, say, a decade. Thereafter, exportation of fuels and minerals would become a matter of choice by these peoples, not a necessity. Such export might continue at current levels; it might increase, or it might diminish. The decision to conserve or to dissipate exhaustible resources would be autonomous, a matter of choice by these peoples and their governments, not something imposed upon them from outside. The decision about desirable levels of population also would be a local matter, not something demanded among the terms on which capital resources are obtained from foreign suppliers. The peoples now dependent would escape that trap. This is not intended or desired either by the World Bank or by the government of the United States and its client regimes….

Excessive industrialization in the United States, coupled with increasingly wasteful uses of resources on armaments and on personal luxuries that are essentially trivial in terms of human well-being, makes essential the U.S. exploitation of the developing countries, their resources and peoples. The United States is in deficit on raw-materials account, but is unwilling to limit its industrial expansion correspondingly. It is in surplus on farm products account, but is unwilling to limit its agriculture accordingly. The peoples of developing countries therefore are to be turned into the instrument through which the otherwise untenable U.S. economic process is perpetuated.

— 

Michael Hudson, Super-Imperialism

jp morgan fired him for writing this stuff in the early 70s

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Four Years of Greek Austerity in Forty Pictures

This coming May will mark four years since the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund took control of the Greek economy. Although massively important, it’s an anniversary not many people are going to celebrate.

As more of a memento than a celebration, photographer Dimitris Michalakis has put together a selection of 40 photographs that he’s taken over the past four years. The series depicts the social impact of austerity in Greece, and serves as a snapshot into almost half a decade dominated by headlines about social polarity, debt, and economic crisis.

More photos

2

Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (the so-called Brics) are to establish alternatives to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which they find too biased towards Europe and the US.

The “New Development Bank” to rival the World Bank will be launched at a Brics summit in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza next week, with all agreed except where to put the main headquarters, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said Wednesday (9 July).

The two options currently being considered are Shanghai or New Delhi, Siluanov said. Russia didn’t push to get the bank in Moscow, but will seek management posts instead, he said.

The project will see each of the Brics contribute €1.4 billion to the bank’s funds over the next seven years, with the bank’s maximum capital set at €73 billion

http://euobserver.com/economic/124920

The World bank and IMF in reality are economic hit men for the former colonial powers who operate the business of institutional neoliberal colonialism and The IMF and the World Bank provides loans knowing full well they possess the required military power (say from the US, UK, France) to have the debtors pay their loans but the loans and their conditions are so extortionate and immobilizing they know the money will not be paid off As a matter of fact they don’t want the loans paid off What they want what they need is the pearl in the shell What they want is the debtor nation to open up their country’s natural resources to be plundered by foreign banks and multi-national corporations (as done in Nigeria, Argentina, Kenya, Mexico and countless others) which are in bed with the IMF and World Bank

What World Bankers Fear Most

It’s that time of year again. Northern birds flock south for the winter, and the world’s bankers assemble in Washington for the annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF. Finance secretaries and central bank governors from countless nations descend upon Washington to mingle with their colleagues, leaders of the World Bank, the IMF and the titans of global finance. 

For those who believe that the world is shaped by back-door conspiracies and maneuverings of the rich and powerful, these gatherings offer endless possibilities for speculation. The very same bankers who triggered the world economic crisis—those who suffered nary a consequence and in some cases walked away richer than before—come together to toast to their victories, devise new get-rich schemes and coopt even more public servants into serving their never-ending interests.

Read more. [Image: Jonathan Erst/Reuters]

Cabinet agreed to all the conditions of the IMF

From Communist Party of Ukraine, March 3, 2014:

The newly installed Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is ready for implementation of all items in the mandatory program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure a loan. This was announced during a meeting with the European Business Association, said Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, RBC-Ukraine.

"This government will fulfill all the conditions of the International Monetary Fund for the simple reason that we have no other choice," - said Yatsenyuk.

Today it is difficult to find materials that shed light on the basic provisions of the IMF program for Ukraine.

We have to refer to the data released by Wikileaks. According to the correspondence of American diplomats, which was announced on the website WikiLeaks, the decision to grant Ukraine a loan from the International Monetary Fund for a total of $16 billion is dependent on a list of reforms that were originally approved by the U.S., and subsequently submitted to the IMF. Among them in the first place - pension reform.

As the WikiLeaks documents reveal, even under the old regime, a Ukrainian interlocutor for U.S. Ambassador John Tefft had prepared a program of development of Ukrainian reforms and gave it to the United States. Those, in turn, approved and passed the program of the IMF, who insisted on them as a condition for Ukraine receiving the loan.

According to WikiLeaks, this list of reforms demanded of Ukraine includes:

1. Raise the retirement age - two years for men, three for women. Eliminate the right to early retirement including for hazardous enterprises.

2. Eliminate the institution of special retirement benefits, which are allocated to scientists, government officials, managers of state enterprises. Restrict working pensioners. Set retirement age for army officers at 60 years.

3. Raise the price of gas for municipal enterprises by 50%, twice for private consumers. Increase the cost of electricity by 40%. Increase the excise on petrol by 60 euros.

4. Cancel benefits and raise taxes on transportation by 50%. Not to raise the living wage (cost of living), balancing the social situation from this point with subsidies.

5. Privatize all mines and abolish all subsidies. Repeal benefits for municipal utilities, transportation and other things. Cancellation of state support of free meals and textbooks.

6. Limit the practice of simplified taxation. Abolish VAT exemptions in the countryside. Oblige pharmacies and pharmacists to pay VAT.

7. Lift the moratorium on sale of agricultural land. Cancel subsidies to producers of pork and chicken.

8. Reduce the size of ministries to 14. Leave only one vice-premier. Cancel the post of Minister of the Cabinet. Subdue all public authorities ministries. Tax Administration of Customs, the State Property Fund should enter the ministry of finance.

9. Limit excessive salaries of public officials.

10. Unemployment benefits should be assessed only after a minimum period of six months of work. Sick pay at 70% of salary, but not below the subsistence level. Sick pay starting from the third day of illness.

Yatsenyuk stressed that the authorities initiate unpopular decisions that are transforming the social sphere. In addition, the public should prepare for tax hikes.

The IMF mission will arrive in Kiev next week.

Almost every item on the program tightens the noose around the neck of ordinary people.

Exposed: the real EuroMaidan program — privatization, price-hikes and poverty for the masses.

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