International Monetary Fund

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The IMF is a capitalist institution that along with the World Bank, governs global economic policy. Despite being an international organization, its leadership is nominated by the US and EU, with the president of the IMF, by unspoken agreement, always being European whereas the president of the World Bank is always American. In both the IMF and the World Bank, the US has de facto veto power over all significant decisions, and along with the rest of the G7 and European Union controls a majority of the votes, despite having only about 15% of the world's population. When these two organizations were founded in 1944, colonial countries like India were integrated into the system on unequal terms, subordinate to their colonizers, with other countries not being allowed to join until after independence. Voting power of a country is determined largely by its GDP, and both the IMF and World Bank calculate their own figures for each country, with "market openness" also being a consideration. Thus the countries that became rich during the colonial era wield disproportionate power when it comes to deciding economic policy. The IMF for its part issues out unpayable loans to countries; unpayable, because they are not actually used to invest in the economy, but rather to pay for the loyalty of the military and bureaucracy — and such countries are the receiving such funds most of the time, ones ruled by kleptocrats who want to prolong their regimes, ones such as that of Mobutu Sese Soko of Zaire. The IMF of course is aware of this — loans and foreign aid are usually not about helping a country get on its feet, but to buy policies from a government, whether that be support in geopolitical matters or opening up markets for foreign businesses. As these regimes end up defaulting on these loans, the debt becomes then restructured on the terms of the IMF and World Bank, allowing these two to impose austerity, privatization, and forced market liberalization on those countries, creating lucrative profits for multinational companies.[1]

There is the illusion that the poverty has declined significantly in the past couple of decades. These figures, however, include China, which accomplished its wide-scale poverty reduction mostly outside of the IMF loan shark system. Discounting China, the rate of poverty reduction is much lower, and exposes the nature of these loans as instruments which are not, in fact, used primarily to develop countries. This is in spite of the IMF and World Bank's efforts with manipulating numbers to make it look like they help alleviate poverty. One of the most prominent cooked-up metrics is the $1.90/day international poverty line made by the World Bank, which more useful metrics expose as misrepresentative of the actual situation.[2]


  1. Apartheid in the World Bank and the IMF. Al Jazeera.
  2. "Exposing the great 'poverty reduction' lie".