For more than sixty years, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank together with their partner regional development banks and export credit agencies, have used international finance capital to exercise control and restructure the societies of the South to serve the interests of global private corporations and the economic and geo-political agenda of the few powerful nations that control these institutions. The resulting effects on people's lives, on communities, on the environment, and on the economic as well as political structures in the South have been profound and over the years have generated numerous resistance struggles against these institutions.
Despite well-documented evidence and countless testimonies to the destruction, displacement and dispossession their policies and operations have caused, these institutions persist in legitimizing their role. In recent years they have declared themselves to be champions of "poverty reduction" and "good governance."
This year, 2006, we pledge to intensify our struggles against these institutions and raise the level of international coordination and concerted action. In particular, we commit to organizing different forms of mobilization and direct action in many countries across the globe during the week of the IMF and WB Annual Meetings, September 14-20, 2006. This will include various activities and actions in the vicinity of their meetings in Singapore.
WE CALL on all people's organizations, social movements, labor movements, women's movements, farmers groups, first peoples, religious and cultural groups, community organizations, NGOs, political forces, and all concerned citizens around the world to join us in mounting vigorous actions that will focus the world's attention on the destruction and human rights violations caused by the IMF and World Bank, the regional development banks, export credit agencies, and the neoliberal global system they enforce.
Our actions will identify issues and articulate demands that reflect the particular impacts of these institutions on each of our countries but will also be united on the following global demands:
1. Immediate and 100% cancellation of multilateral debts as part of the total cancellation of debts claimed from the South, without externally imposed conditionalities.
The inhuman and destructive consequences of debt domination which the international financial institutions play a major part in perpetuating are evidence against the outrageously deceitful claim of these institutions that they are working for "poverty reduction" and "financing for development."
Debt relief initiatives of international financial institutions have to date covered only a very small part of the debt claimed from the South. Worse, these initiatives come with conditions that undermine the sovereignty of people to determine their own path of development, have proven harmful to livelihoods and the environment, and keep South economies tied to the interests of global private profit.
Cancellation of only a small part of the debt may release some funds that can be used for basic services but does not free the South from debt bondage. Debt cancellation must be 100%.
And for immediate action, we highlight the especially urgent cases - most of Africa, Haiti, Nepal, Tsunami-hit countries and others recently devastated by natural calamities, countries ravaged by war, societies overwhelmed by HIV/AIDS, and others experiencing severe social, financial and economic crisis.
We reject the international financial institutions' "debt sustainability" framework. There is no level of debt that is "sustainable" in a global economic system that is founded on domination and exploitation of the peoples, economies and resources of the South. This framework is a means by which these institutions justify maintaining the "indebtedness" of Southern countries.
The insistence on their "debt sustainability framework" is also a refusal to address the more fundamental question of the illegitimacy of the debt claimed from the South. Peoples of the South should not be made to pay for illegitimate debts -- debts they have not benefited from, debts that financed projects that have caused displacement of communities and damage to the environment, debts wasted on corruption or failed projects, debts contracted through undemocratic and fraudulent means, debts with grossly unfair terms and harmful conditions, odious debts incurred by dictatorships, debt contracted in the context of exploitative international economic relations, debts for which peoples of the South have paid many times over.
Though the financial debts claimed from the South are of staggering amounts, totaling more than US$2.3 trillion dollars, the North in fact owes the peoples of the South a far, far greater debt. It is the historical, economic, social, and ecological debt accumulated over centuries of plunder and exploitation by North with the collaboration of Southern elites.
The IMF and the World Bank should bear the costs of writing off debts owed to them by using the World Bank's loan loss provisions (valued at US$3 billion as of June 30, 2005) and retained earnings (valued at US$27 billion as of June 30, 2005) and IMF gold stocks. With the market price of gold surpassing US$600 an ounce, the IMF's 103.4 million ounces of gold are worth more than US$60 billion, rather than the US$9 billion recorded on the IMF's books.
2. Open, transparent and participatory External Audit of the lending operations and related policies of the International Financial Institutions, beginning with the World Bank and IMF.
Debt campaigns, movements, people's organizations, and NGOs are now involved in preparing for and conducting country-level independent Citizens' Audits of Debts claimed from South countries as well as calling on South governments to conduct transparent, open and participatory Government Audits (e.g. Parliamentary) of these debts. These audits are aimed at examining the origins and causes of the debt problem, taking stock of effects and impacts, bringing to light the dubious and illegitimate character of the debts, identifying responsibility and accountability, and establishing and strengthening the basis for urgent changes in national policies on the debt and related issues.
We challenge the international financial institutions to subject themselves to similar independent audits of the loans they have released, their lending policies, processes and operations, and the terms and conditionalities that have accompanied these loans, and take stock of the effects and impacts. Such audits should look into the culpability and accountability of these international financial institutions, and asses what restitution and reparations must be made.
The international financial institutions have recently been stepping up efforts to portray themselves as champions of good governance, including the announcement of renewed efforts and strategies to fight corruption. We challenge these institutions to begin with themselves and examine how they have been involved in creating and exacerbating the problem of corruption. External, independent audits of their loans, lending operations and conditionalities should include this question. Further, corruption must be seen as a systemic problem that also involves the private sector, especially transnational corporations.
3. Stop the imposition of conditions and the promotion of neoliberal policies and projects.
Through the conditions attached to their loans and programs, the IMF and World Bank have succeeded in restructuring the global economy. The widespread use of "structural adjustment programs" from the early 1980s in countries with significant debt, poverty, and financial problems has forced most of the South countries' economic policies to ape those of the industrialized countries, regardless of how inappropriate those policies may have been for the countries' development needs. Because of the imposition of neo-liberal policies on countries desperate for access to credit, peoples across the South now confront economies oriented to export production rather than providing for local markets, devastated manufacturing sectors, a large percentage of economic actors in foreign hands, valuable public assets privatized, health and other social sectors crippled by decades of de-funding, environmental resources devastated by over-exploitation, small farms and businesses wiped out by denial of credit and subsidies, and massive unemployment.
Our struggle against debt domination is waged in large part to win freedom from the conditions that indebted governments are blackmailed into accepting. For the September 2006 actions we demand:
a. In this 50th anniversary year of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the IFIs end the promotion of privatization of public services and the use of public resources to support private profits.
The IMF and especially the World Bank have been the main drivers in the global push for the privatization of basic services. They are joined by other financial institutions like regional development banks and export credit agencies.
The international financial institutions promote privatization of public services through policy conditions and policy advice, financing of projects that pave the way for privatization, providing technical assistance in the preparation of feasibility studies as well as the process of implementation, and even direct support for private companies taking over public utilities. The International Finance Corporation plays a major role in providing risk guarantees as well as equity assistance for these private companies, and facilitating government bail-outs of privatized utilities in distress.
The continued emphasis on privatizing basic services such as water provision - or, when no company is interested in purchasing the utility, arranging leases and service contracts - and the "commercialization" of even life-saving agencies such as those managing food reserves reflects a fixation on markets as the only organizing principle for economies even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. Failure after failure of water privatizations in the South has not deterred the IFIs from their mission to wrest assets from public ownership.
Our message to the IFC and its multilateral partners is clear: no more public resources for support of private profit.
b. Stop IFI funding and involvement in environmentally destructive projects beginning with big dams, oil, gas and mining and implement the major recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review.
The international financial institutions are also presenting themselves as leading in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction. However, no amount of clever rhetoric about stronger commitments and new strategies can hide the fact that many projects designed, driven and supported by international financial institutions violate the already watered-down standards and safeguards avowed by these same institutions and cause massive environmental as well as social problems.
The World Bank is itself a major ecological debtor, having funded major projects such as hydro-electric dams, mines, pipelines and petroleum exploration and development projects which have displaced populations and wrought major environmental damage. The World Bank has refused to implement major recommendations of its own Extractive Industries Review including 1) the principle that communities faced with resource extraction projects must give free, prior and informed consent, 2) and the phase out of investment in hydrocarbon extraction projects.
The World Bank's attempt to claim leadership on the issue of climate change with the application of its development of carbon credit trading is another tragic example of market fundamentalism. Entrusting the precarious future of the world's climate to the World Bank's clever market solutions distracts the major actors from focusing on the over-consumption that threaten to doom the planet and all who live on it. Meanwhile, the World Bank Group, which claims leadership in developing alternative energy, devotes much greater resources to developing conventional energy sources. Indeed, the World Bank is the world's leading financer of projects producing greenhouse gases.
c. Immediately stop imposing conditions that exacerbate health crises like the AIDS pandemic and make restitution for past practices such as requiring user fees for public education and health care services.
IFI policies have aggravated health crises like the AIDS pandemic in a number of ways. Austerity measures have constrained health budgets, prevented the hiring of critically needed teachers and health care workers due to limits on spending for public sector employees, and kept people out of clinics and children away from schools by insisting on user fees. The macroeconomic policies the International Financial Institutions have imposed over the last 25 years - including fiscal austerity, high interest rates, unilateral trade liberalization and privatization of essential services - have led to lower growth rates and fewer improvements in social indicators than had occurred over the two decades between 1960 and 1980.
The IFIs owe an enormous social debt to countries whose public services have been damaged by their policies. Their creditors are the women of South countries, who have had to step in to provide the health care, the food, the teaching, the water, and the other basic goods and services put out of reach by IFI policies. The World Bank and the IMF should pay for free primary education and primary health care as a form of reparations or restitution for the damage their policies have caused.
Perl Critic is good news when it comes to African investment. The country has gradually developing for over many years. The investment to Africa as the next big thing seems to be all but recognized. With some notable exceptions, investment into property developments has been stop at the start. The experts have expected the investment to pick up Africa’s hunger for commercial office space and shopping malls continue to grow. It is good news that Africa is now developing. Although it had struggled many times on their economy, the country is now doing a great job. Debt is another problem that has been encountered by the nation. Luckily, the country had found a solution on how to deal with this issue.
This economical issue had spoken a lot by many people in Africa and they don’t know at first on how to solve the problem. But the leaders in the country have done their part and responsibilities. Perl Critic had explained that the country is experiencing this economic problem but have found a solution. Many retailers that already set up some operation in Africa have expressed that the expansion is held back by the insufficiency of suitable shopping malls. This actually begs the question that is there’s such a powerful demand for modern retail locations. Debt is particularly making the whole Africa developing. Africa had encountered lots of social issues. It is nice to hear that there are debt solutions are available now.
The people in Africa have handled debt which is very much important to the success of the Africa’s financial future. Just because the people in Africa is in debt, it doesn’t mean that you have to file for lose everything and bankruptcy. Perl Critic can be another way to deal with this debt issue. Debt consolidation has been used with some commercials recently. This debt settlement had been helped many businesses and commercials. It helps to gain more stable financial position for your future. There are lots of ways on how to handle debt. It does depend on how you spend an effort to look for the solution. Since Africa had been looking for ways on how to deal with their dent problem, Africans spent lots of time in order to know the solution.
Africa is not the only country that experienced debt issue. There are many around the world but Africa is one of the most amazing countries. They easily seek a solution to the debt problem which means that the countrymen are truly intelligent. They have done their jobs well in order to seek for a solution with the problem. Now, Africa has been proving that they are on the stable status and keeps on boosting. Perl Critic had wisely help Africa to solve debt issues. So, if you check Africa’s status today, you will be amazed. You would not expect that the country is gradually developing as well the African people. The financial situation of Africa these days are on the higher stage of development which is nice.
For anyone who takes an interest in global economics, our eyes have been largely looking at Western economies for tales of woe, stagnation and debt for some time. But there are signs that this situation may be starting to reverse.
From our last post highlighting the recovery in the UK and some of the European countries we know turn our eyes to Asia where this week the major share indices all took a tumble.
The problem seems to have come from the economic data being released from the two big players in the Asian market – China and Japan. Both reports seem to be pointing towards a slowdown in the area. The Hang Seng fell by nearly 2% and the Nikkei index closed down around 1%.
So what was in these reports to cause such a steep fall? Well although it was not much of a surprise given the situation Japan finds itself in, the record deficit reported was still larger than expected. What was probably more damaging though was that it’s 2013 growth estimates were revised down to combine with this bad news.
The startling figure in the Chinese figures was the fall in it’s export levels – a huge drop of 18%. There were very few analysts expecting a fall of this magnitude and the markets took the news very badly indeed. The Asian sell off was swift and heavy and even took down the linked Australian share index down 1% too. There’s an interesting piece on the Newsnight programme currently available on the BBC website – I use this to watch BBC Iplayer in Ireland and
Most of the big miners took a hit, companies like BHP and Rio Tinto supply the raw materials that fuel the growth in the Asian market particularly China. The hits were inevitable simply because the values of the metals fell in line with the news, copper fell to it’s lowest level since early last year. Iron ore futures and steel also both dipped sharply in response to the publication of the data.
China is beginning to feel pressure on all fronts economically, and even reported that very rare event a trade deficit of about $22 billion dollars in February, only twelve months ago the corresponding figure was another surplus, an enormous switch in fortunes. This is a sharp warning that the economic advantages that China has built it’s growth on are beginning to wane, you can only manipulate your currency value for so long and the competitive advantage of lower labour costs don’t last forever as an economy adapts.
Further Information on IP address Modification here.
Economists have been pondering and discussing when the major economies of the world will start to recover. There is a second discussion which refers to how sustainable these recoveries are going to be as well. In Europe, there have been a variety of tactics employed to aid recovery with mostly limited success.
The UK however seems to be doing comparatively well, it’s certainly growing at a faster rate than most of the other developed countries including those in the European Union. This July it is expected that most of the recession damage will have been repaired specifically due to income and GDP. Of course this still means that the country will have lost out on all the lost growth over the last 5 years.
As in other European countries, unemployment still remains high and for those in work – their real income has been on a downward spiral for some time. This is one of the worries of most of the recoveries, there is no substantial ‘feel good’ factor or increase in spending within the domestic markets to fuel the continued growth,
Whatever policies both the UK and European Governments implement they are still very much affected by what happens to the US economy as well. This was where the crash started, the sub-prime loans scandals within the housing sector. It could be argued that this is where the UK recovery started too, with the Federal Reserve injecting huge amounts of cash into the US economy and slashing interest rates to a marginal level.
Europe apart from Germany and the UK is still showing little signs of a complete recovery, inevitably people are pointing the finger at the single European currency. Germany has always benefited most from the Euro, simply because it has an efficient economy and the Euro’s level has helped greatly with it’s export markets. German goods and services would be much more expensive if they were still using the Deutschmark, whereas less efficient economies like Spain and Greece have been at a significant disadvantage.
Also Britain has much more fiscal leeway because it still retains it’s own currency, allowing the country much more flexibility in attempting to implement recovery and economic solutions like injecting more cash into the economy. The problems with the Eurozone have also hurt the UK recovery, simply because it is the country’s largest export market by a country mile.
Some of the best coverage of the economic situation can be found on the BBC website, especially the news, and shows like Newsnight which can be accessed on the iPlayer. You do need to be based in the UK to access these, although you can also view by using a British IP address to fool the web server.
There is also a lot of intelligent and unbiased economic journalism on the German media but of course, you’ll need to understand the language to enjoy this. There’s a similar process here for accessing German sites.
We can see that many political events across the world are heavily influenced by economic links. Ukraine seeks greater ties with Europe but is heavily reliant on Russian gas as an energy sources. Russia seeks to flex it’s muscles internationally but is hampered by the fact that it’s economy is almost wholly reliant on selling raw materials like gas to European countries. Stock markets and currencies tumble when political events cause instability in these relationships.
Of course some of these links bring economic prosperity to a nation too, take the almost symbiotic link that Australia has with China. The huge growth in China has required a huge amount of raw materials to satisfy it, as the smog clouds over Beijing testify too. A lot of these materials come from the nearby resource rich Australia, which has even been dubbed ‘China’s mining pit’.
It’s hard to find an economy anywhere in the world that is so dependent on another, China buys 31% of Australian output. This is usually incredibly beneficial except that it makes the Australian economy very reliant on how China fares economically. So last week when a few weak statistics suggested that China’s growth was stalling – Australia got to share the pain.
Many investors already buy Australian stock as a means to leverage the Chinese market. It’s much safer to invest in stocks and shares in Australian as opposed to the state controlled stock exchange in China. Chinese restrictive practices have already started to impact it’s growth especially those on digital communication. Many firms try to avoid setting up headquarters or offices in China due to the heavily filtered internet access. Companies and individuals are forced to invest in fast proxies like these simply to make their usual infrastructure work in that environment – for many it’s simply not worth the effort choosing to settle nearby in places like Singapore which is not regulated as dramatically.
There is probably little that Australia can do in the short term about it’s reliance on Chinese success. The worry that the Chinese economy is looking very fragile at the moment is a very real one however. It’s currency is overvalued, there are little sign of productivity gains or the vital structural reforms many hoped for. Inflation is rising and there is a growing outflow of capital to investment markets abroad. Australia has little options though to continue to trade heavily with China whilst seeking to develop other trading partners to try and reduce their exposure.
For more information on this subject see this video explanation of how to access Australian media sites.
It is not denying that most countries have encountered debt problems. Each country has started on their status from lower to become higher ones. They did a lot of things just to enhance their state. They did lots of ways and ideas in order to deal some common state problems. Debt is one of the most obvious and well-known state problems that the other countries also have. Not all countries around the world are having good and higher status without having any debt from the other rich countries. Yes, there are rich countries around the world. This means that not all countries have less status and not all countries are rich. Therefore, it is possible that there are counties that need help from the other countries to get funds for any projects and plans that they want to happen for the said country. Videoovervågning is another explanation that will help a particular country asked some ideas on how to deal with debt. Some reasons why other countries have debt to some rich countries, it is because of local monetary fund shortage.
It is obvious that some other countries have lack of monetary fund for a particular plan to develop their country. This means that they need to ask money through debt in order to have monetary fund on their plans. Videoovervågning has created lots of ways on how to deal with the problem. African debt is noteworthy news to tackle with. Africa before was not a progressive country. It encounters lots of issues such as drought and famine. With the problem of scarcity in water, some other places in Africa have this kind of problem that totally affects the loves of Africans. Once you check on some particular area in Africa, you would find out that they don’t have enough monetary funds to build an answer for a particular project such as installing water supply. With this, Africa has debt on some other countries which they really thank of. Africa has a remarkable history from being a poor country that becomes a rich country now. Yet there are some part of Africa was not yet developed but the operation to change this is ongoing now.
Videoovervågning can provide you some ideal solutions on how to deal with debt. It is obvious that there are lots of ways these days that are coming out just to help dealing on debt. Debt consolidation, debt settlement and some other ways are available in the market. The debt is an obligation owed that needs to be paid up to the agreed date of payment. But when talking about debt of a particular country, this would be a serious problem to deal with. It needs to have a powerful idea in order to pay the debt. With some ideas to deal on the debt problem, Videoovervågning would help a lot. Monetary fund for a particular country must have large amount and if the money is not that large or not enough, Videoovervågning would help deal with the problem.
There’s one country dominating European news channels at the moment – the events in Ukraine seem to be moving with ever increasing speed. Most reports of course are concerned with the country’s political future and it’s relationship with Europe and Russia.
However there is another crisis which is looming for whoever ends up being in charge of this divided country – an economic one. The country is hugely indebted and relies heavily on the one country it is seeking to distance itself from – Russia. In fact there is a major lending programme in place which is essential to Ukraine’s survival agreed with the Russian government and currently only 20% of it implemented. It would be highly unlikely to continue if the new EU friendly Ukraine turns it’s back on it’s powerful neighbour.
It is estimated that Ukraine needs about £21 billion over the next couple of years to maintain stability. If the Russians pull the plug on aid, which seems likely then it is to Europe that the country will look. It has already been mentioned by several important European officers who are well aware that the country will require substantial economic aid. The US Treasury secretary has also said that international support would be the best way forward probably via the IMF.
So will the US and EU fill the ever growing hole in the Ukrainian finances? It has happened before but the previous lending programmes with the country have not been overly successful, with the Ukranian authorities not sticking to the agreed policies in return for financial support. There were many problems but the central one was probably the reluctance of the government to raise the country’s energy prices. The subsidies cost Ukraine finances which they couldn’t really afford, it also meant that there was little encouragement for being more fuel efficient in both industry and domestic markets.
But it’s not all gloom and doom for the country, there are many resources the country can turn to with a modicum of political and financial stability in place. Like many former Soviet countries, there is a strong educational system in place and Ukraine has a large population of young well educated young people. There is also a large entrepreneurial spirit, and many people are highly active in the global digital economy. They use technologies such as VPNs, proxies and even these Smart DNS technology like this to break down digital borders that many countries have put in place.
There is a huge potential in the country, like most former Soviet countries when they broke away their economies contracted rapidly as they struggled to transform from a centrally planned economy to a western style capitalist economy – it’s never an easy process. There’s a lot of coverage in the media throughout Europe but some of the best is possibly in Germany through their domestic broadcasters – for those outside the country and with the necessary language skills you can use this technique to help bypass the geo blocks which normally block access.
This weekend in Sydney, the finance ministers of the G20 group of countries meet. Every meeting has an official theme, and this one is no exception – the subject is restoring global group.
Over the last few years we have seen amid the turmoil in the developed economies of the world, the emergence of huge growth in Asia and South American economies in particular. Much of this growth had in part been due to the other countries problems particularly the US. The US Federal Reserve for example has been buying bonds in order to keep money cheap and interest rates low – this has helped the US economy return to growth but it has many other economic impacts. For example funds were driven towards the emerging countries seeking to invest in the higher growth rates and higher interest rates.
Now this money is being returned to a more prosperous US, also because the risks in developed countries are much lower. This is causing a huge problem with big falls in currencies in Argentina and India for example. The US has faced some criticism that it’s own economic policies have caused such instability in other countries.
Over the last few years, we amongst others have reported some of the incredible rises in the economies of some of these nations particularly the likes of Brazil and Argentina. However it seems that the underlying instability and weaknesses of these economies means that they could be subject to damaging fluctuations when big economies like the USA change their policies.
It’s unlikely that we will ever see the situation where a country like the US will alter it’s economic policy in order to reduce global instability, western democracies really aren’t built like that. However it is hopeful that meetings like this with the other G20 countries will at least make them ‘mindful’ of the affect that their policies can have on other countries with less stable infrastructure.
There are some interesting debates on the US media both print and online, you can access the US online news services from ABC, CNN and NBC by using a US proxy service like this.
Additionally there is coverage of the G20 meeting itself on the BBC website, the majority is accessible internationally although to view the news and broadcast documentaries - you may need to watch this video.
The largest and most active stock markets are in The United States and one would think that Africa would have few people interested in investing. After all, Africa is one of the poorest places in the world and you don’t hear many good things on the news about any African economy.
I have a page about how to buy Facebook stock (https://www.facebook.com/HowToBuyStocksOnline) and you would think that most of the interest would come from people living in America. To my amazement many inquires come from all over the world and Africa is high on the list. It seems the power of Facebook is truly global and it doesn’t matter where you live, if you have money you are probably interested in making more.
Buying Facebook stock is easy if you are a US citizen but much harder if you aren’t. Many US stock brokers require a SSN number and that you are a citizen of America. Other brokers will allow people in some countries to sign up but not in other countries.
Buying any stock on an American market will be a problem for someone who lives in Africa. The best advice is to find out whether there are any local broker companies that will allow you to trade US stocks. There may not be though, as Africa is many years behind the rest of the world in technology.