Wednesday, June 08, 2011

For certain values of "work"

Mark Steel on the IMF in today's The Independent:
If the IMF got a job as an agony aunt, and someone wrote "Dear IMF, I am happily married with two adorable children, but lately have felt frustrated at being tied to the house, and wish I could escape. What should I do?," they'd reply "Dear Frustrated, your children yield no returns and must be sold to Balfour Beatty. You must move out of your house and use it to grow kidney beans for sale to Tesco, and if your husband complains, cut off his access to water." Yet they're portrayed as kindly souls, cheerily travelling round the world trying to rescue stranded economies, like a monetarist RAC. But their method is to turn up with a few million dollars to bail you out, and in return ask only to run the economy the way they fancy.


Because when the IMF say a policy will "work", they mean work for their sort, the bankers, the chief executives, the men who own the oil and the water or will own it soon if they get their way.
Or, in short,
"these IMF demands aren't the result of economic expertise, they're political decisions."

Indeed. As he says, ask Haiti. Or Tanzania. Or Bolivia.

Or, I venture to say, anybody.

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