World Bank/IMF Watch

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Energy Issues and Resources | Oklahoma FoodHumanizing Globalization, proposals of John Paul II, discusses three themes of the thought of the Holy Father about humanizing globalization.

Globalizer who came in from the cold, interview with former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz, about how the World Bank and IMF rig the deck against the poor, and how deadly this is for the poorest of the poor. Chapter and verse, here's your smoking gun.

A quick guide to the world history of globalization, going back to 325 BC or so. Very interesting set of pages - syllabi for a set of university classes - nice resource page, key concepts, and a consideration of the US as empire.

CorpWatch, holding corporations accountable. Portal access to the anti-globalization movement, lots of details, chapter and verse.

Corporations in history, academic project developing primary materials on the history of corporations and their role in society.

Pilger on Globalization, the British critic John Pilger discusses his new documentary, "The New Rules of the World", an expose of globalization. I bet it won't be shown on television in the U.S.

Globalization Scorecard 1980-2000, President Bush and the rest of the WTO fanatics say that free trade and globalization is helping the poor. But that's not what the data say. All of the poor countries experienced severe declines in growth, but the poorest countries went into negative growth, that is, over the 20 year period 1980-2000, their economies contracted. Since most of them saw increases in population during this period, some quite substantial, this means fewer resources available for more people. If you wonder why death rates are up so much in these
poorest countries, here's your smoking gun. The price of globalization is the deaths of the weakest and most vulnerable.

Cancellation of the African Debt will not change anything , by Aquiline Tarimo, SJ, from the SEDOS site. Discusses how the African debt problem grew from colonial structures, encouraged and abetted by world financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and the large commercial banks and transnational corporations of the developed countries. Argues that resolving Africa's dilemma requires structural changes, not just debt relief.

Adjusting the World Bank and IMF: real change or new image? , Jean Somers, Columban Fathers, on the SEDOS site. The IMF has renamed its Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility as the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. The question is: does the friendlier name indicate a friendlier policy, or just better public relations? Well, the WB and IMF steadfastly refuse to admit they have made huge mistakes with the poor countries. And they seem to be simply repackaging their old programs as new "pro-poor growth" policieis, despite the fact that they have increased poverty and misery in the past.

Washington's Political Transition threatens Bretton Woods twins , a critique of the IMF and WB, notes the failure of their structural adjustment policies by their own standards, says there is a big debate among internationalists in the US, and that the new Bush administration will be less receptive to continuing funding for the programs. In fact, the data suggest that the WB/IMF are a plot to keep poor countries poor. The amount of poverty and misery in those countries grew rapidly under structural adjustment. Has facts and data disproving the World Bank's claim that it is now shifting its focus to reducing poverty. Quotes a 1999 internal WB document claiming the agency had "tolerated corruption, accorded factual status to false government statistics, legitimized the dictatorship by passing it off as a model for other countries, and was complacent about the state of human rights and the monopolistic control of the economy." Even so, at a debate sponsored by Vaclav Havel in Prague, Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank can say, "I and my colleagues feel good about going to work everyday."

Focus on the Global South , documents the on-going deterioration of the economic circumstances of the global poor.

Globalization: who is in control? , by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago. Considers the importance of the lives, works, and teachings of Dorothy Day, Bishop Hector Caldera, and Pope John XXIII.

Tangled up in blue, corporate partnerships at the United Nations, from Corp Watch.

The Struggle for a deglobalized world, excerpts from presentations at the demonstrations at the World Economic Forum in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2000. Discusses the "pig in the poke" that poor nations got when they signed on the WTO, and suggests alternatives.

One World's Guide to the World Bank/IMF,

Corporate money flows at convention, Salon magazine article re7garding corporate financing of the recently concluded Republican National Convention.

Feasting at the federal trough, Dick Cheney's hypocrisy. Documents Cheney's success, as CEO of Haliburton, at looting the federal treasury via various corporate welfare/pork barrel/military spending programs.

The Bolivian Water War, from the Democracy Center in Cochacamba, Bolivia, documenting the attempt of the Bolivian government to privatize water systems, and the resulting popular uprising against the program which primarily benefitted transnational corporations.

Al Gore, corporate welfare environmentalist, a Focus on Corporation column.

Growth may be good for the poor -- but are World Bank/IMF policies good for growth? An analysis, from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, of the March 2000 apologia of the World Bank for its policies. Critiques the World Bank/IMF's numbers and concludes that the policies of these institutions have suppressed economic growth in developing countries.

Rightsizing the World Bank, IMF, and WTO, from the journal of the Society for International Development, suggestions for dealing with the damage being caused by these organizations.

Drop the Debt!, Summit-watch site for the recently concluded G7 meeting, which squandered the opportunity to do something meaningful about debt, and which cost over $750 million for 8 middle age men to get together and talk. They should have stayed home and talked on the telephone or sent each other email. End the G7 Now, Slate article on the issue.

Boycott the World Bank! The Bank gets a lot of money from your local banker in the form of bonds and securities. Does your hometown banker have a vested interest in stealing interest payments from the rice bowls of the poorest of the world's poor? Ask him (or her), and if so, consider moving your account elsewhere. From the Center for Economic Justice.

Globalization, Development, Poverty, an on-line e-conference sponsored by the World Bank and the Panos Foundation. I am participating in this forum (it runs for 4 weeks, commencing May 1, 2000), and the reading is interesting and not too overwhelming, the discussion can be read on-line at this page.

Seattle Sequel in DC, The Nation Magazine's take on the April 16th demonstrations at the World Bank/IMF get-together in Washington, D.C., plus a great collection of links relating to the subject.

Global Eyes,, columns from In Motion Magazine discussing the impact of globalization on the poor. Rural America, in conjunction with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, columns on the deterioration of the family farmer and traditional rural America. In Motion Magazine, a "multicultural on-line US publication about democracy."

Independent Media DC Center, lots of coverage regarding the DC protests and other such events.

Whirled Bank, "Our dream is a world full of poverty." A site that satirizes the World Bank -- but coupled with the satire is some excellent background info on problems the Bank is causing for the poor worldwide.

Economic Justice News, archive of back issues, from the 50 Years is Enough Campaign, the US network for global economic justice.

Talking Anarchy with Chomsky, MIT professor Noam Chomsky explains how the World Bank/IMF system violates capitalism by holding people who did not incur loans responsible for their repayment.

Subsidy Watch web info plus regular email list about corporate subsidies that harm the environment and the economy. Estimates the global cost to be $1 trillion annually. Sigh.

The WTO: Inside, outside, all around the world, by sustainable economist and author Paul Hawken, non-Catholic and secular, but one of the best analyses of what happened with the anti-WTO riots in Seattle (and truly, I have seen an ocean of cyber-messages about this, having received literally hundreds of messages about it since late last year). The interesting thing about the WTO problem is that the groups getting together under the anti WTO umbrella is quite ecumenical, politically, economically, and religiously. It would seem our corporate rulers are getting worried. They are proposing that the next WTO meeting be held in one of the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, where there won't be any inconvenient Bill of Rights to protect any protestors that manage to find the place. A characteristic of cowards everywhere is that they would rather flee than confront their accusers.

Shakeup at the IMF, on November 9th, Michael Camdessus, head of the International Monetary Fund, announced his resignation, effective February 2000. Rumors of scandals continue to mount about the bank, as does criticism of its harsh and wicked "structural adjustment" policies which always seem to work to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, as though closing schools and hospitals could somehow make life better in a developing country. We may yet learn that the IMF funded the enrichment of the Russian Mafia and enabled it to get control of the Russian "gangster economy", which has not been a boon to the common good of that troubled and wounded nation.

Bishops announce a victory on HIPC Debts, this press release from the Social Development/World Peace department of the US Catholic Conference/National Conference of Catholic Bishops, reports a significant step forward in funding US participation in a $90 billion debt reduction program for the heavily-indebted poor countries. I hope they're right about this being a cause for joy, even though it announces an appropriation of only $110 million, and authorization for another $300 million, somehow this eventually ends up part of a $90 billion debt reductions program. But nobody's debts have actually been forgiven yet, and this $90 billion is only about $30 per poor person in a developing countries, or the equivalent of the price in a US supermarket of 50 pounds of rice. So forgive me if I seem to be raining on their parade, but I wonder if what is being offered is "too little, too late."

Cypress Semiconductor Statement Against Corporate Welfare, presented a couple of years ago by Dr. T.J. Rogers, president and CEO. An unusually frank statement on the subject.

United Nations and the Corporate Agenda, from the people-centered development forum at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Troubling news of moves to institutionalize a global transnational corporation agenda at the UN.

Sports shoes and sweat shops, in solidarity with the exploited workers in sweat shops.

Cologne summit offers only "crumbs of comfort for the poorest of the poor, reporting on the recent G-7 summit decisions on debt relief, executive summary of their report.

Center for World Indigenous Studies, home of the Fourth World Documentation Project, Fourth World Eye, on-line newsletter.

"Market-Assisted" Land Reform: An indecent proposal, frontline critique from the Philippines about a World Bank initiative.

The IMF Deconstructed, two guys analyze a typical IMF document, from Eastern Europe. http://www.enp.cz/99/1/cl5_economics.html

Natural Investing, a "natural investor" is a person who brings his or her values to the marketplace and intends to operate in the marketplace on the basis of good values.

Rojas Databank, excellent academic gateway to studies regarding globalization, poverty, and hunger. http://www.rrojasdatabank.free-online.co.uk/

Lao Dam Argument does not seem to hold water, article harshly critical of World Bank plans to loan Laos money to build a giant hydro-electric project. Read this for more evidence of what is really going on when the World Bank says its "new" policy is to approve projects that "help" the poor. With a little more help like this, Laos will likely be impoverished even more.

Corporate Welfare links at the Mining Company. Find out about the economic war among the states.

Corporate Welfare Shame Page, some great links plus some humor about the many corporations dependent upon the taxpayers to bolster their stock prices and annual dividend. Affiliated (I think) with the Georgist movement.

Corporate Welfare Watch, home page of the corp-welfare discussion list.

Corporate Watch, a rich site with lots of information and links on the culture of death role of large business corporations in the modern world. On the Wrong Track, a summary assessment of IMF interventions in selected countries.

Corporate Welfare Information Center, more than $150 billion a year, in the US alone. More welfare for the rich than the spend on AFDC/TANF< student aid, housing, food and nutrition, and all direct public assistance except social security and medical care.

March 24, 1999

International Forum on Globalization, studying the restructuring of human society, finds that it is happening "at tremendous speed, without full public disclosure of the profound consequences affecting democracy, communities, human welfare, local economies, and the natural world."

Sources of information about Corporate Economic Globalization, links and access.

February 17, 1999

Third World Debt index at the Theology Library.

January 6, 1999

The Penguin Star, English language cyber-periodical with an Asian focus, lots of interesting articles about globalization and the effects of Western policies on Asia, plus some recent reports of violence in East Timor, reports on riots in Indonesia. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/7915/9812/HomePage9812.html

December 9, 1998

Noam Chomsky Archive on-line access to writings, articles, and books by one of the most radical critics of the United States world military and economic empire. Books by Noam Chomsky

Corporate Watch, exposing sweatshops at home and abroad, IMF and World Bank shenanigans. Notes that the "price" of Brazil's recent "rescue" package from the IMF was $84 billion of cuts in domestic spending.

Sleepless in Seattle, What Happened to Boeing? Another transnational company announces layoffs and cries globalization. But this PR campaign may conceal other unsavory reasons for this destruction of jobs.

December 2, 1998

Economic, Social, Political Distortions in the Modern World, Samir Admin, from the Combustion in the RainForest: Ecology, Energy, and Economy for a Sustainable Environment.

Archbishop of Tegucigalpa (Honduras), response to the director of the IMF.

Assessing Aid complete on-line text of a new report from the World Bank. Finds that aid from the developed countries to the poor countries is declining, and generally ineffective. Warning: consider the source of this document as you interpret its findings. I will be doing a review of this document as I get the chance.

November 11, 1998

There is late-breaking news that Britain, Holland, and Spain have forgiven the international debts owed to them by the countries in Central America affected by Hurricane Mitch. We give thanks to God for this mercy, and wonder when the U.S. will follow this good example.

Speculation, Foreign Capital Dependence, and the Collapse of the SE Asian Economies, A Globalization in Crisis article from Multinational Monitor.

From Market Madness to Recession: Liberal Dogma Shipwrecked, from Le Monde Diplomatique of France, in English, October 1998, analysis of the world economic crisis and its effect on the poor.

People's Right to Know Campaign. How do you know if the product you are buying was made by exploited workers? This campaign from the National Labor Council and People of Faith Network seeks to encourage corporations to publish the names and addresses of their overseas contractors for verification of worker conditions and pay. The need for this is clear. Women in Haiti receive only 6 cents for every $19.99 Disney garment the make. Girls in El Salvador are paid 12 cents for every $20 Gap shirt they sewed.

November 4, 1998

UN Conference on Trade and Development, big place, lots of information, discernment required.

Towards a new paradigm for Development: Strategies, policies and processes. At a recent conference, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, denounced the "Washington consensus" developmental model (the current globalization trend) as confusing means with ends. But his alternative doesn't seem much better: down with tradition and up with scientifically-based central planning, especially when the World Bank is one of the planners. They have such an excellent track record in places like Indonesia. I'm looking for the full text of the speech, and hope to have a link for it next week.

Partners for Development Summit, in Lyon, France, November 9 - 12, 1998, to discuss a UNCTAD initiative bringing together the business community, governments, consumer associations, academia, and NGOs to discuss ways to help developing countries. This will be the initiative's first international meeting.

Tripartite Meeting on Micro-Finance, held in conjunction with the Partners summit in France, has invited the pioneers of micro-finance, national financial authorities ("at the highest level"), and the chairmen/CEOs of leading financial institutions to review, assess, and evaluate progress and programs in this area.

Least Developed Countries 1998 Report, press release about this annual publication, with socio-economic analysis and data on the 48 nations identified by the UN as the Least Developed Countries, whose total population is more than 600 million people, with an average per capita income of about US $230.

October 28, 1998

The Bank, the President, and the Pearl of Africa one of the best sites I have found with information about the World Bank and its many sins in the world. Unlike my typical comments about this issue, the information here is presented non-polemically, has lots of details, e.g., in 1982, total debt of southern hemisphere countries equaled $650 billion; by 1985, severely and moderately indebted countries were paying out 28 billion a year for interest payments more than they were receiving in new loans. By 1994, the World Bank was reporting net annual profits of $1.35 billion, and in 1995, debt of southern hemisphere countries equaled $2,000 billion, much of which consists of capitalized interest. The 1996 debt relief initiative at most costs $7.7 billion a year. What's wrong with this picture? Find out at this site. Has a 27 page print-friendly report.

Economic Justice NOW! A San Francisco-area organization promoting economic policies and systems which foster social equality and ecological sustainability. Information about a World Bank loan for Chad-Cameroon pipeline.

World Bank owns up to mistakes -- again, from the BBC, James Wolfensohn publicly admits the bank did not anticipate the Asian financial meltdown. Defends bank against charges of tolerating corruption. WB chief admits he was wrong about Indonesia, Australian Broadcasting news report, Mr. Wolfensohn "described Indonesia as being at its worst moment and promised the World Bank would continue to assist." These stories are from February, since then, with continued World Bank "assistance", Indonesia has seen food riots, calls from the government to fast twice a week to conserve food, and desperate urban dwellers tearing up golf courses and race tracks to plant vegetables. WB launches internal investigation, July 1998, maybe there is some substance to those charges of corruption at the WB, a Conservative News Service article. WB calls in Fraud Team, from the Guardian, UK, July 1998.

Nambikwara, informational page about a World Bank development project and its devastating affect on indigenous people in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil.

Jubilee 2000 South Africa information about South Africa's apartheid era debts, excellent monthly newsletter, Apartheid Caused Debt Campaign.

October 21, 1998

IMF Web Site to heat up if transparency rules pass, the US Congress recently attached strings to its latest IMF appropriation, both good and bad. On one hand, there will need to be more openness in the IMF decision-making system, but on the other hand, more stringent loan requirements. International Monetary Fund. We need to pray for their conversion too.

September 29, 1998

Fifty Years Is Enough! Exposing the cruelties of World Bank and International Monetary Fund Structural Adjustment programs in the Third World. Jubilee 2000 faith-based advocacy of debt relief for poor countries. World Bank page about AIDS and economics. . .UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. HIV and Poverty by J. Fernandez.

Structurally Adjusting the Poor to Death, by Dr. L.C. Jain, former member of the Planning Commission of India, from the Population Research Institution Review. Among other discussion items, shows how neo-liberalism has unemployed millions in India, and links deaths by starvation among unemployed hand weavers to structural adjustments imposed on the poor (he refers to such as structural "adventurism".

Transparency International, non-governmental organization dedicated to government and corporate accountability, and to curbing corruption in politics and economics. Has country "index of corruption".

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