Members of Ireland’s Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin are understandably irate that their own government has sold them into debt slavery.
Ireland is in the process of being IMF’d—stripped of its assets and sovereignty, its people impoverished and enslaved by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, described the process Ireland is now undergoing to journalist Greg Palast in an interview published back in 2001. Excerpts from that interview:
“There’s an Assistance Strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank’s staff ‘investigation’ consists of close inspection of a nation’s 5-star hotels. It concludes with the Bank staff meeting some begging, busted finance minister who is handed a ‘restructuring agreement’ pre-drafted for his ‘voluntary’ signature (I have a selection of these).
“Each nation’s economy is individually analyzed, then, says Stiglitz, the Bank hands every minister the same exact four-step program.
“Step One is Privatization – which Stiglitz said could more accurately be called, ‘Briberization.’ Rather than object to the sell-offs of state industries, he said national leaders – using the World Bank’s demands to silence local critics – happily flogged their electricity and water companies. ‘You could see their eyes widen’ at the prospect of 10% commissions paid to Swiss bank accounts for simply shaving a few billion off the sale price of national assets. . . .
“After briberization, Step Two of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is ‘Capital Market Liberalization.’ In theory, capital market deregulation allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money simply flowed out and out. Stiglitz calls this the ‘Hot Money’ cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation’s reserves can drain in days, hours. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation’s own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%. . . .
“At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, ‘The IMF riot.’
“The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, ‘down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,’ as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots, but there are other examples – the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You’d almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.”