The International Monetary Fund - IMF
So what is this entity called the IMF? The International Monetary fund was created in December, 1945 when the first 29 member nations signed its Articles of Agreement, and it began operations on March 1, 1947. The authorization for the IMF came a few months earlier at the famous Bretton Woods conference of July 1944. The United Nations and Bretton Woods Institutions have a multifaceted, extensive and growing partnership between these entities and the IMF and the World bank is the world's biggest loan sharks.
Officially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements to foster economic growth and high levels of employment and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment but this description hardly describes the critical functions that the IMF provides to the process of globalization. Yes, the IMF is one of the leading agents of change in the global economy and global governance but it is far from it's only tool.
The Unwritten Goal of the IMF and World Bank is to Integrate the Elites
of all countries into the capitalist world system of rewards and punishments. The billions of dollars controlled by the IMF and World Bank have created a greater allegiance between the elite - unifying their power structure and strengthening their controlling (Twisting) arm over the nations. Much could be said about this controlling arm but for the sake of case and point I will just say that the IMF works with the World bank to provide funding to nations and that both are independent specialized agencies (tools) of the United Nations.
Then there is the Bank for International Settlements - this third partner in crime is a separate tool in that the IMF and World Bank works with governments while the Bank for International Settlements deals only with the Central Banks established within the governmental structures. Of course both the IMF, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements and of course the United Nations were all heartily endorsed by the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, J.P. Morgan and Chase Bank, among other international bankers.
When the Bank and the Fund Lend Money to Debtor Countries
The money comes with strings attached. These strings come in the form of policy prescriptions called structural adjustment policies. These policies or SAPs, as they are sometimes called require debtor governments to open their economies to penetration by foreign corporations, allowing access to the country's workers and environment at bargain basement prices. Its not hard to see why the World Bank and the IMF are the world's largest public lenders - in reality is all tax-payer money.
Structural adjustment policies mean across-the-board privatization of public utilities and publicly owned industries. They mean the slashing of government budgets, leading to cutbacks in spending on health care and education. They mean focusing resources on growing export crops for industrial countries rather than supporting family farms and growing food for local communities. And, as their imposition in country after country in Latin America, Africa, and Asia has shown, they lead to deeper inequality and environmental destruction.
When a country is in such financial trouble that even the cost of getting a loan is unaffordable, then there is one last place to turn - the IMF. To get an IMF loan, though, a country has to be a member and contribute something of its wealth regularly to the big pot of IMF funds. Here are all the members of the IMF and the amount they contribute to the big pot of funds...
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