IMF

MARKET REFORM AND CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION

 

Dr. Gloria Emeagwali

Professor of History and African Studies, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA.

MAIN SITE:www.africahistory.net

 

 

Time to bury the IMF? (Campbell)

 

A.

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Most current Structural Adjustment and Economic Reform Programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank have a common international context of origin. In this site we explore some of the various dimensions of the IMF record not only in Africa but also in Asia and the Caribbean because we observe similarities in terms of initial conditions, imposed conditionalities, ideological orientations, implicit and explicit objectives and impact on the countries hosting the IMF programs. These consequences include the following:

  1. Forced devaluation
  2. Forced privatization
  3. A free fall in the value of the domestic currency
  4. Lower purchasing power
  5. A fall in the standard of living
  6. Unemployment and retrenchment of workers
  7. Inflation and the phenomenon of rising prices
  8. Food riots and social unrest
  9. Challenges to trade unions and labor
  10. Substantial challenges to human rights organizations
  11. Increased mortality because of the compulsory removal of subsidies on health
  12. Declines in school attendance along gender lines
  13. Challenges towards democratic governance
  14. The rise and/or consolidation of military dictatorships
  15. De-industrialization as the economies are inundated with cheap foreign products
  16. Reduction in the number of nationals owning industries due to privatization and an invasion of foreign capitalists
  17. Intensified unequal development amongst ethnic groups
  18. Ethnic tension
  19. Transfer of as much as 40% of the domestic budget in debt repayment to the creditors/bankers of Euro-America
  20. De facto loss of sovereignty
  21. The feminization of poverty
  22. Child Labor- reluctantly sanctioned by impoverished/"SAPPED" parents who depend on the child's meager supplement to make ends meet.
  23. The proliferation of terrorist organizations, armed conflict or/and resistance movements- with recruits from the expanding army of the unemployed

B.

REGIONAL EXAMPLES

The above effects have been documented extensively in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and other African countries. In the Caribbean, Jamaica is a classic example. Indonesia and South Korea are among the most recent in Asia. In most instances democratization becomes more and more illusory since dictatorial generals or factions of the army sympathetic to the draconian IMF conditionalities have often seized power. The Babangida coup of 1985 in Nigeria is a great example. This coup has been called "the IMF coup." In Somalia and Rwanda, total chaos and ethnic conflict ensued as the national pie shrunk and unequal development amongst regions and between one ethnic group and another, intensified. The IMF cannot always be blamed for the crises preceding the bailout. In several cases domestic elites plundered the wealth of their countries and engaged in blatant mismanagement of national resources. Often they were associated with the wastage of resources in non-productive prestige projects and siphoned off vital resources to Swiss and other Western banks. We should note, though,that the IMF prescription has seldom helped to solve the crisis and the agents and agencies that seem to gain from its advice are in most cases foreign banking and financial institutions, invariably protected by the IMF.Poor peasants, factory workers and civil servants usually pay the price of the draconian conditionalities imposed by the IMF rescue squad. The organization seems to be unconcerned about the ill effects of its program or 'progrom.' It pushes on with its campaign for the removal of subsidies in poor economies whilst turning a blind eye to the massive use of subsidies in agriculture and the aviation industry, in the United States and Europe.This point was courageously made in Cancun Mexico at the annual meeting of the WTO, a sister organization created in 1995.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READINGS

Campbell, Horace.'Time to bury the IMF' (Pambazuka.org) June, 2011

Phillips,Kevin. Bad Money-Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism.Penguin, 2008.

Stiglitz,Joseph. Globalization and its Discontents.Penguin, 2002

Joseph Stiglitz, The seven deadly deficits, Mother Jones , 2008

Dawkins,Kevin. Global Governance.Open Media, 2003

Huffington, Arianna.Pigs At The Trough.Crown Publishers, 2003

Korten,David. When Corporations Rule The World.Kumarian,2001

Palast,Greg. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Penguin, 2003

Bond,Patrick. Against Global Apartheid. University of Cape Town Press, 2001

Bello,Walden. Dark Victory,The United States and Global Poverty.Pluto Press, 1994

Bello,Walden.Deglobalization:Ideas for a New World Economy.Zed Books,2002

Emeagwali, Gloria(ed.), Women Pay the Price: Structural Adjustment in Africa and the Caribbean. New Jersey: AWP, 1995

Emeagwali, Gloria."The Neo-Liberal Agenda and the IMF/World Bank Structural Adjustment Programs with reference to Africa."Dip Kapoor (ed.) Critical Perspectives on Neo -Liberal Globalization, Development and Education in Africa and Asia.Netherlands: Sense, 2011.

Stiglitz.J.Freefall. New York:N.W Norton & Co., 2010

 

     

    IMF Reports

    Africa's Debt- World Bank Report

    C.

     

    1. In Nigeria, the Shagari civilian regime fell into the debt trap by 1983
    2. A military coup was launched.The newly established Buhari-Idiabon regime was clearly unwilling to do business with the IMF. Buhari envisaged barter, direct counter trade with Brazil and other Third World economies and other innovations as an option
    3. A pro-IMF coup was staged by Ibrahim Babangida, endorsing the draconian conditionalities.
    4. Street protests, Indonesian-style, engulfed the nation. Many died. Students were killed.
    5. But Babangida got the sanction of the IMF and new bailout loans.
    6. Riots continued. Democratic opposition was silenced and their leaders jailed indefinitely, 1994
    7. BUT Babangida went laughing to the Swiss banks
    8. Eventually another military heavyweight, seized the baton in a new coup d'etat and a new wave of riots and imprisonment continued : A "gentleman"s" agreement?
    9. General Abacha aimed at becoming a new civilian president, 1998
    10. The US administration endorsed the plan. His death in June 1998 buried this project and many gave a sigh of relief.
    11. Needless to say that the removal of subsidy on health and education continued.The Nigerian education system continued to crumble under the weight of IMF conditionalities
    12. Babangida stayed in the background and continued to enjoy a multi-billion fortune.


      General Abdulsalam Abubakar, a new military leader promised to initiate democratization processes and return the trigger-happy soldiers to the barracks in free and open elections.This he apparently did. In 1999 and 2003 respectively, Olusegun Obasanjo, a former head of state and military leader won the Presidential election. We shall comment on the new developments from time to time.



      ASIA




      1.Chronology and detailed focus on the Asian Crisis (Roubini, NYU)

      2.What is the IMF's Agenda for Asia (Walden Bello)

      3.The IMF Korea Bailout

      MAIN PAGE

       

      JUBILEE 2000 launched a praiseworthy campaign for the eradication of massive Third World debt-repayment to rich countries on Friday 15th May 1998. The Seattle,Washington DC. and Prague protests of 2000 have been done in this spirit and so too, that of Quebec, Canada, April 2001.Some of the issues highlighted in this site were discussed by Dr Gloria Emeagwali at the Conference on Globalization: Towards the year 2000, University of Central Lancashire, Preston,UK, April 24-26, 1998; and also at the weekly seminar of the CCCRW, Institute for Development Studies, QEH, Oxford University, UK, May 18, 2000

      Dr. Gloria Emeagwali, Professor of History and African Studies, CCSU, New Britain, CT06050, USA.

      Phone:860-832-2815