Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Abolish the IMF

with one comment

Now, in its attempts to help Haiti, the IMF is pursuing the same kinds of policies that made Haiti a geography of precariousness even before the quake. To great fanfare, the IMF announced a new $100 million loan to Haiti on Thursday. In one crucial way, the loan is a good thing; Haiti is in dire straits and needs a massive cash infusion. But the new loan was made through the IMF’s extended credit facility, to which Haiti already has $165 million in debt. Debt relief activists tell me that these loans came with conditions, including raising prices for electricity, refusing pay increases to all public employees except those making minimum wage and keeping inflation low. They say that the new loans would impose these same conditions. In other words, in the face of this latest tragedy, the IMF is still using crisis and debt as leverage to compel neoliberal reforms.

Of course I’m in favor of debt forgiveness generally, but even a person who isn’t, who strongly supports the IMF, should be able to recognize the necessity of debt forgiveness in this particular case. If it’s true that aid is currently being offered with strings attached—and I’m sure The Nation has its reporting right—that’s extortionary, and extraordinarily cruel, even by neoliberal capitalism’s usual low standards. Simply put, this is outrageous. Via Vu.

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  1. […] aid on this scale; we should be vigilant about mission creep and work hard for things like debt forgiveness, but (it seems to me) the U.S. military presence really is on the side of the angels, at least so […]


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