For whom is the World Bank and IMF?

 The World Bank and the IMF are collectively known as the ‘Bretton Woods Institutions’ or BWI for short.

 The two organizations were formed in 1944 at a meeting of 43 countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA.

 The goal of both organizations was to rebuild the world economy which was devastated by World War II and to expand international economic cooperation. 

There is a lot of discussion and criticism about the success or failure of the two organizations in achieving that goal. 

Over time, however, criticism of these Bretton woods institutions is increasing day by day. 

these daysIt would not be wrong to say that there is no end to the criticism against the World Bank and the IMF. 

One of the biggest criticisms of this has long been the inequality of political power in its administrative structure. 



The voting of these two organizations depends mainly on the size and openness of the economies of different countries.

 The poorest countries, which occasionally receive loans from these banks and funds, are structurally 'under-represented' in the decision-making process.

 This simply means that these poor countries do not have the opportunity to be properly represented in the decision-making process.

In the face of criticism, the IMF's 2016 "voting reform" has somehow shifted some of the voting power in favour of China, but the distribution of voting power remains largely unbalanced in favour of the United States and EU countries and Japan. 

Notably, the United States has veto power in many issues in the case of the World Bank. Civil society groups have historically called for more representation of low-income countries on the World Bank's executive board and the introduction of a "double-majority voting" system through reform of the decision-making process. 

This requires the consensus of the shareholders and the majority of the country. In that case, developing countries will have the opportunity to play a greater role in the decision-making process.

The under-representation of low- and middle-income countries on the executive boards of the Britton Woods Institutions is further deteriorating the historic "Gentleman's Agreement" between the United States and the EU. 

Through this agreement, from the very beginning, these funds and banks have been practically seen as national institutions of the EU and the United States, respectively. 

Civil society has long demanded a transparent system. According to them, the current transparent process should be replaced by a merit-based transparent system. 

Despite this, David Malpas, a US citizen of 2019, has been appointed unopposed as the President of the World Bank.

 It has been seen that despite the opposition of the civil society, the said Gentlemen's Agreement is still active here. All UN agencies operate under the 'One Country One Vote' system.

 The World Bank and the IMF do not do that. The voting power in these depends on the size of a country's economy and its contribution to these institutions. 

And through this, the imbalance of power has taken root in these two institutions. What the consequences are, we are witnessing in reality. We have many examples of this.

In 1994, Zambia announced that the country would not be able to recruit the 9,000 teachers it needed. The country did not announce because it did not have adequate funding. 

Rather, it is because the World Bank or the IMF has set an upper limit on spending on wages in countries with zero per cent GDP.

Argentina was once a loyal student of the World Bank or the IMF. The country's military dictators have relied heavily on loans from the World Bank or the IMF. 

As a result of privatization, millions of people in the country have been deprived of healthcare. Other public welfare opportunities also deteriorated. This led to mass riots in the country in 2001.

 The country became the largest defaulter in history with private banks. In 2002, the country's GDP fell by 11 per cent. The unemployment rate reached 20 per cent. 

People have been seen searching for food in piles of garbage. When it became clear that the country was in danger of becoming a defaulter for all lenders, the IMF suggested that government spending should be further reduced. 

Growth began to pick up again when the country rejected the IMF's advice and re-nationalized some services.

On the other hand, the World Bank has offices in 109 out of 184 member countries. The number of officers and employees is 10 thousand. 

Like the IMF, it has a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). It provides loans for setting up dams and power plants. It also provides funding for agricultural modernization programs. 

Nevertheless, the bank's Articles of Agreement states that its main goal is to "develop foreign private investment." Over the past 60 years, the World Bank has financed 550 dams worth 80.6 billion. 

But one crore of people have been displaced due to these dams. And it has had a devastating effect on ecology and the relationship between the environment and the living world.

 According to the World Commission on Dams, fish floating in the sea due to upstream
 in Thailand has reduced by 60 to 80 per cent.

In 2013, on behalf of civil society groups in more than 20 countries, ‘Well Change International’ sent a letter to the president of the World Bank, Dr Jim Young and requested an end to funding for fossil fuel projects. 

The biggest beneficiary of these projects is Dick Cheney's Haliburton. Dick Cheney was vice president of the United States at the time.

In June 2000, the World Bank provided 3.8 billion for the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. The project was funded without conducting a comprehensive study on the impact of the dam on society or the environment.

 "Friends of the Earth" estimates that 2,000 gallons of oil per day from the 600-mile pipeline could leak into various pores and mix with the environment to have a major negative impact on the environment.

 Oil contracts have been awarded to American and European companies. These companies have been exempted from paying taxes.

The IMF formula has dealt with all the debt crises in 150 countries since 1980. Most of the military governments in Latin America are replaced by democratic governments.

 In those countries, the national economy began to run under the privatization agenda of the World Bank. At the instigation of the World Bank or ISF, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimura adopted neo-liberal reforms in 1990.

 As a result, the price of fuel increased 31 times in one day and the price of bread increased 12 times. As a result of these reforms, the situation in Chile and Argentina has worsened under democratic regimes than during dictatorships.

Rwanda began exporting food grains to the United States and Europe in 1960 at the instigation of the IMF, ending the country's food self-sufficiency. The same process is repeated in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and the Philippines.

The adoption of the neo-liberal policy in 1992 led to widespread poverty in large areas of the former Soviet Union. In 1995, the WTO ratified the 'Rights to Banks and Multinational Corporations'. 

Then government debt skyrocketed, state institutions collapsed. Private resources increased a lot. National sovereignty and civil rights are curtailed.

Iraq has 11 per cent of the world's oil reserves which is 5 times more than the United States. The entire region, from the Arabian Peninsula to the Caspian Sea, contained 70 per cent of the world's gas and oil reserves. 

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003 after 13 years of severe economic sanctions. During this time all the important infrastructures of the country were practically destroyed.

 More than 1 million people lost their lives. Foreign debt has been used to lead the economy to further destruction.

Nine-Eleven has been used to further legitimize the global free market. This paved the way for the destruction of the stable prices and natural environment of the 1970s. 

Fascism, tribal conflicts, social divisions and human rights and women's rights have been violated. Excessive inflation also led to layoffs in many parts of the former Soviet Union.

 There is a tendency for health care to deteriorate and disease grief to increase. The economic downturn in the former Soviet Union spread to Eastern Europe.

The idea of predatory speculation during the Asian crisis of 1997, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea, considered the Asian Tigers, which were made scapegoats further.

After the IMF intervened in South Korea, 200 companies were shut down, and 4,000 people lost their jobs every day. The daily wage in Indonesian sweet shops ranges from 40 USD to 20 USD. 

Massive food riots broke out. Three-and-a-half million jobs are announced lthe ay off in China. In the West, Thatcher and Reagan's state could no longer be a welfare state. 

The whole generation is a victim of the tendency to lose jobs. Unions are crushed, insurance benefits are curtailed. 

Workers have been pushed to the minimum wage since the 1970s through the Third Worldization. The division between different classes and ethnic groups is increasing.

Similarly, the World Bank or IMF persuaded the internationalization of free-market crime. Syndication is activated under the guise of privatization. 

The United Nations' Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCO) has a net worth of 1 trillion, equivalent to the income of middle-income countries with a population of 3 billion. 

The income of organized criminals exceeds the income of the 'Fortune 500' company.

The IMF or World Bank policy has a huge impact on changing the situation of the concentration of resources. 

As the number of billionaires has increased, so has the number of people living below the poverty line. 

In 2007, there were 793 billionaires in the world with a net worth of 3.5 trillion. In one year, the number of these billionaires increased to 946.

 At that time, the highest number of billionaires in Asia was 30 in India. Their total assets amount to 191 billion dollars. China had 20 people, with a net worth of 2.94 billion. 

In 2014, the number of billionaires in the world increased to 1645, with a total wealth of 6.4 trillion. The previous year's figure was 5.4 trillion.

 In India, the number of billionaires rose to 56, in China it was increased to 152 and 111 in Russia.

At this time, as the wealth of the ruling class of the world has increased, so has the income level of the poor countries decreased in all the capitalist countries.

 According to another estimate, the wealth of the 85 richest people is equal to half the wealth of the world's population. 

This growth in wealth is due to speculation in the equity market, real estate and commodity trading.

 These resources have not increased in terms of technological innovation, investment and job creation in industry or any service.

In this way, hundreds of examples can be given of how the IMF and the World Bank have increased the poverty and misery of the poorest countries and the world's poorest people, as well as increasing wealth inequality around the world. 

In the current trend that voting in both of these Britton Woods institutions
The framework is in place and developing countries can't stop this trend in their decision-making process without ending the 'under-represented' situation.

 Through this, the imbalance of political power that has been established in these banks and funds is adding to the complexities in other areas as well. 

There is controversy over the type of economic policy that the two organizations sponsor - they often cover or implement in the form of advice on approving loans, projects, technical assistance or financing. 

These practically go against the sovereignty of the borrower country, limit their policy-making ability and exhaust their national development strategy.

This is especially true in the case of the IMF, where the IMF becomes the last hope of the borrower country as a lender. All this needs to end quickly.

Historically, the IMF and the World Bank have imposed a variety of conditions through structural alignment programs. The IMF wants a 'letter of intent from the borrower country.' 

The loan has to be approved by the IMF. The letter contains previous activities, quantitative performance measures and structural benchmarks. 

In the face of criticism, the IMF reviewed program design and conditionality in 2016.

 There is an increase in the number of structural conditions. In the case of the bank, the terms are now lifted directly through its PDF, where loans and grants for development projects are given to countries that accept the ‘Prior Actions’ required to obtain fungible finances. 

According to a Belgium-based CSO Eurodad study, the World Bank issued 434 prior actions in 2016. 

In addition to the formal conditions, the institution also imposes various other conditions through two loan programs.

 If the borrower countries are not able to get out of the trap of these conditions, their desired development will remain intangible.

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