Tag Archives: International Monetary Fund

Obama Pleads for $100 Billion Loan to IMF to Fund Wars

Democrats agree to IMF money in U.S. war bill

Democrats in the U.S. Congress have reached a deal to boost support to the International Monetary Fund, lawmakers’ aides said on Tuesday, a victory for President Barack Obama who pledged to help the lender assist countries in the global economic crisis.

The war funding measure will provide a $100 billion credit line to the IMF, increase the U.S. member contribution to the IMF by $8 billion and authorize the United States to back the IMF’s plan to sell 400 tons (12.97 million ounces) of gold, said the aides, who declined further identification.

Obama had pleaded with the House of Representatives and the Senate to approve the provisions and the full funding package is expected to be completed in the coming days.

The bill must be voted on in both chambers before being sent to Obama. The House approved a $96.7 billion measure for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without including the IMF provisions while the Senate approved a $91.3 billion version with them.

The final package is also expected to include funding for eight Boeing Co C-17 military transport planes that the House approved but the Senate cast aside, one source said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye said that “so far” 11 Lockheed Martin C-130 transport planes approved by the House also were in the compromise package.

Other unresolved disputes include how much additional economic aid to provide Pakistan.

The House ignored Obama’s IMF request when it passed its version and Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, a senior Democrat, expressed reservations about including it until European countries did more to stimulate their economies.

Obama’s credibility has been on the line with world leaders because he pledged the support at a Group of 20 nations meeting in April. The G20 agreed to provide the IMF $500 billion more to help developing countries coping with the economic downturn.

“Even if the $500 billion isn’t completely used, it is part of the overall strategy from this administration about building confidence around the world,” said Nancy Birdsall, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development.

Additionally, congressional authorization is needed for the U.S. representative to the IMF to vote on the gold sale.

Democrats could have some problems getting the final bill through the House because about 50 anti-war Democrats voted against it initially because they opposed the wars while senior House Republicans have expressed unease about including the IMF provisions in an emergency war funding bill.

“We should not be having this discussion. IMF funding has no business being included in the war supplemental” bill, said Representative Eric Cantor, a member of the Republican leadership.

It would take a defection of almost all Republicans and the anti-war Democrats for the bill to fail but because the measure funds U.S. troops in the field, it is unclear whether they are willing to vote down the measure.

To learn more about the IMF see: Funding the IMF for the ‘New World Order’

IMF’s Big, Bold Role in a Worsening Economic Crisis

Economic crisis getting worse: IMF

A Bigger, Bolder Role Is Imagined For the IMF

Inside a cavernous assembly hall in downtown Washington, dignitaries gather twice a year for routine meetings of the International Monetary Fund. Before long, though, the room could take center stage in the IMF’s transformation into a veritable United Nations for the global economy.

Surrounded by blond wood paneling and a digital screen the size of a cinema’s, central bankers and finance ministers would meet to convene a financial security council of sorts. Serving almost as ambassadors to the IMF, they would debate ways to put out the world’s economic fires and stifle reckless policies before they ignite new ones.

Bowing to a new economic world order, the IMF would grant fresh powers to the likes of China, India and Brazil. It would have vastly expanded authority to act as a global banker to governments rich and poor. And with more flexibility to effectively print its own money, it would have the ability to inject liquidity into global markets in a way once limited to major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.

That image of a radically transformed IMF — whose role in the global economy had turned largely advisory in recent years — is now coming together through internal IMF documents, interviews and think-tank reports. Finance ministers from major nations will begin grappling with the formidable details of the IMF’s makeover this weekend when they converge in Washington for the fund’s biannual assembly.

The changes, broadly outlined by President Obama and other leaders of the Group of 20 nations in London earlier this month, could take months, even years to take shape. But the IMF is all but certain to take a central role in managing the world economy. As a result, Washington is poised to become the power center for global financial policy, much as the United Nations has long made New York the world center for diplomacy.

The IMF’s mission is expanding so broadly that its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said in an interview that the organization — which underwent deep cuts last year before the financial crisis swept the globe — may boost staffing in coming months, potentially creating dozens of high-paying jobs in the District.

“The IMF is changing, and with it, there will be a sea change in the way the world economy is run,” said C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “Their role will dramatically shift. You’re talking about monitoring fiscal stimulus, moving toward tighter regulations for financial institutions. You’re talking about global economic management in a way we have never seen.”

Already, the economic crisis is triggering a profound cultural shift, with the IMF moving away from its long-held mission to spread the gospel of capitalism around the globe.

Founded at the end of World War II to maintain stability in global currency markets, it later became known as the lender of last resort for nations in crisis, particularly as financial fires raced across Asia and Latin America in the 1990s. Its bailouts, however, were the bane of many poor countries; they often came with demands for fiscal austerity and free-market reform as the cures for developing nations — even if that meant nations had to cut back on programs for health care and schools. Full Story

Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the IMF

What is the IMF?

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were created in 1944 at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, and are now based in Washington, DC. The IMF was originally designed to promote international economic cooperation and provide its member countries with short term loans so they could trade with other countries (achieve balance of payments). Since the debt crisis of the 1980’s, the IMF has assumed the role of bailing out countries during financial crises (caused in large part by currency speculation in the global casino economy) with emergency loan packages tied to certain conditions, often referred to as structural adjustment policies (SAPs). The IMF now acts like a global loan shark, exerting enormous leverage over the economies of more than 60 countries. These countries have to follow the IMF’s policies to get loans, international assistance, and even debt relief. Thus, the IMF decides how much debtor countries can spend on education, health care, and environmental protection. The IMF is one of the most powerful institutions on Earth — yet few know how it works.

1. The IMF has created an immoral system of modern day colonialism that SAPs the poor
2. The IMF serves wealthy countries and Wall Street
3. The IMF is imposing a fundamentally flawed development mode
4. The IMF is a secretive institution with no accountability
5. IMF policies promote corporate welfare
6. The IMF hurts workers
7. The IMF’s policies hurt women the most
8. IMF Policies hurt the environment
9. The IMF bails out rich bankers, creating a moral hazard and greater instability in the global economy
10. IMF bailouts deepen, rather then solve, economic crisis

Read the explanations for the Top Ten Reasons

Proposal of a New Reserve Currency Controlled by the IMF

China challenges power of the dollar as it flexes its economic muscles

China yesterday threw down a challenge to America’s 50-year dominance of the global economy as it proposed replacing the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency with a new global system under the control of the International Monetary Fund.

In a muscle-flexing move that will be seen as an attempt to exploit the big shifts in economic power created by the recession sweeping the West, Beijing said that the dollar’s role could eventually be taken over by the IMF’s so-called Special Drawing Right (SDR), a quasi-currency that was created in 1969.

The audacious proposal emerged in a speech by Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, published on the central bank’s website. Unusually, the remarks were released in English as well as Chinese, emphasising China’s dissatisfaction with the global primacy of the dollar.

However, the comments high-lighted China’s growing confidence in its place at the high table of the world’s most important economies, as much as any real expectation that such an unusual suggestion would gain traction. They came with little more than a week left until leaders of the world’s most powerful economies meet at the G20 London summit. Full Story

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Who is the IMF?

from: 50 Years is Enough

The misery, marginalization, and impoverishment forced on millions by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank is unacceptable and renders them illegitimate.

The IMF and World Bank are controlled by rich imperialist countries in corrupt complicity with national elites all over the world. They claim to lead the fight against poverty, but their role as global loan sharks; their cruel imposition of privatization, cuts to social services, and free trade policies; their funding for environmentally disastrous projects; their secrecy and undemocratic decision making processes, make them an enemy of the people worldwide.

Today, these two institutions are on the defensive. Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador are in open revolt against the IMF and World Bank. South African shantytown dwellers are fighting water privatization; Korean workers are striking against “free trade” agreements; and thousands of people successfully blockaded the G8 meeting in Germany earlier this year.

In the U.S., in the heart of empire, millions are struggling against the oppressive system of capitalism for dignity, autonomy and solidarity. Tens of thousands gathered for the first ever United States Social Forum; millions of immigrants have marched for their rights; and in Washington DC,in the belly of the beast, residents are organizing against the policies of gentrification and displacement.

The Grassroots Guide to the IMF and the World Bank (sample from book)

The World Bank (WB) & The International Monetary Fund (IMF)