A Kindler Gentler IMF
It's been a while since I perused the IMF website. I think it's been nine years. :)
An boy has the look changed! It used to be a highly technical website with in depth reports linked to the front page and very difficult to read set of bylaws accessible with a single mouse click.
Now I find page after page of articles and facts explaining that the IMF is not actually evil.
I also found this report - Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs
The report attempts to address the problem that most of the world's nations are afraid to borrow from the IMF, because it's track record is horrible.
"The IMF’s intention is to do away with procedures that have hampered dialogue with some countries, and prevented other countries from seeking financial assistance because of the perceived stigma in some regions of the world of being involved with the Fund."
When we look at a passage like this...
"This evaluation examined whether SC was effective in bringing about follow-up structural reforms as well as whether reforms were sustained over time. This is a particularly difficult question because there was no agreed-upon framework to assess results and accountability, and consequently data had not been collected specifically for this purpose."
We can see the core of the problem. The IMF never bothered to measure their results.
Then there is the following,
"The sectoral analysis showed only a weak link between compliance with SC and effectiveness at bringing about reform and ensuring its durability."
Which tells us that the IMF was largely a failure at reaching it's intended goals. In fact if you read the report, you see that there has been a pattern in the damage done to nation's that the IMF has helped by meddling. Mostly the private sector in various nations has suffered great hardships. The report describes to what degree the IMF takes control of a nation's operations, in areas that it has no expertise in.
And it's not a pretty picture.
The report is of course intended to be very neutral and businesslike. It was commissioned by the IMF, so you won't find anything overtly critical in it. Still it paints a picture, that at best demonstrates incompetence at multiple levels. Incompetence that meant huge profits for the banks involved.
And remember the IMF is run by the major banks. The same banks that we're involved with now in the endless bailout plan.
The report was posted in April 2009. The timing makes sense. Nations just like people, are afraid to go deeper in debt. they see the crisis unfolding and are saying no thanks, selling off more of their nation in return for high interest loans. So the IMF is being forced to paint itself and a kindler gentler organization.
But check this out!
"As part of its lending reform package, the IMF also announced the creation of a flexible credit line (FCL), a type of insurance policy for strong performers, mainly emerging market countries. Access to the FCL is restricted to countries that meet strict qualification criteria. But once a credit line has been approved, a country can draw on it without having to meet specified policy goals, as is normally the case for IMF loans. Mexico has applied for a $47 billion precautionary credit line under the FCL."
Mexico is about to get fracked!
Their oil revenue is in decline, their general economy is in decline, and now they are taking on additional debt with lot's of strings attached. They'll be forced to privatize much of their infrastructure, including their oil fields. There will be rioting and demonstrations, on top of the drug war that is heating up.
This is gonna get exciting!