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Economic intrigues, the Brettonwoods, and improving African economy

April 13, 2009

 

Economic intrigues, the Brettonwoods, and improving African economy

A solid monetary platform for Africa to counter the injustice

 

I have always been asking myself how the IMF/Bretton woods works or how the world financial system works and its role in fighting poverty, improving/regulating the world economy which is suppose to be its main agenda. Not being an economist, I may be wanting on this but very curious and sceptical on many deals, though.

 

With the deepening financial crunch, the US decided to print extra dollars which she described as the bailout out money, to stimulate its economy. We do not know if some of this money would be given to the IMF, as we know the US is one of the highest financers of the IMF.

 

The peak came in the United Kingdom when after meeting in London early April, 2009, leaders of the so-called G 20, the 20 richest countries on the planet earth, who are said to control 85 percent of the world economy, decided to inject USD1 trillion to the International Monetary Fund. The announcement was made by G 20 host, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, on April 02.

 

 

World leaders have been meeting to discuss the issue (financial crisis) and the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said in Chile in March that people are suffering today because others had turned the world economy into what he described as a "a gigantic casino". There, they make fabulous gains, base on injustice, intrigues, ruthless capitalism, manipulation and why not even the bullying of the weak. How then can a system not collapse if it is built on such vices?

 

 

This (wanton) extra cash printing, in Europe (EU) and US, I do not know if it is following any conventions. Giving this extra cash to IMF and their own (regional) lending bodies which then loan to developing countries always have devastating consequences on African economies. IMF/World has as principal clients, the so called developing countries.

 

Since the "loans" most often, cannot be refunded, the governments (borrowers) are forced to restructure their economies according to the whims and caprices of the Bretton woods and other lenders. Most often, it is the privatisation of state companies to “western" companies or their disguised in Africa and other emerging economies. The irrational but obligatory opening of fragile markets in the so called developing world, the reduction of corporate taxes but increasing of taxes on workers, reduction of salaries, laying off of workers etc.

 

It is a paradox that some world leaders with the nonsensical veto power, connive to maintain sanctions on some countries so as to cripple it and make it dance according to their tune. Paradoxically, the same people together with their accomplices make it possible for the Bretton woods to give the “loans” with its usual “conditionalities” to these very countries sanctions have been imposed on. These often fall nothing short of destroying emerging economies because such loans have never help. A level playing field is what is needed. African wants partnership not master servant relation.

 

 

These leaders and their organisations speak against embezzlement in all its forms but still provide safe havens for embezzled funds by their protégés in Africa who are called leaders. I wonder why Euro and Swiss banks have never featured in the most corrupt banking systems for receiving money without verifying its source, something terrifying on baking principles.

 

Recently, authorities of the European Central Bank castigated the US bailout strategy aimed at reigniting its recessing economy.

 

 

According to them, the US method would create inflation and bring about "fiscal indiscipline". Yet, they supported the fact that over 75 billion euro be printed and pumped into IMF/World Bank so as to assist developing economies.

 

My worry is this, this money often loaned out to emerging economies; is it really the profit made up of “booming” economies of the so called developed countries or it is always just extra notes printed and given as loans, knowing so well, that the countries borrowing may not be able to repay and the IMF and its allies would then ask government to make some adjustments. For the IMF, it is often adjustment programs, the cutting of labour force, privatisation of companies etc.

 

I see in this, a very technical and complex, I repeat, complex strategy to make emerging economies or countries to remain ever poorer and so to always be tormented. You know when people are poor; they can be easily be controlled, divided and ruled.

 

In some of these deals, cash does not really exchange hands as such. The so called donors or lenders carry out projects in a developing country but again take back all the profit and leave the loans for countries to pay back

That notwithstanding, I do not dispute the fact that most of our leaders are just relays of colonial baton and heritage and often cowards and thieves who keep the neo colonial strategy waxing and strong but receiving enormous support from an impoverished but unconscious population.

 

Reviewing relations and implementing stringent measures

It is against that background that true African leaders who want veritable development of our continents must seriously review relations with "Developed" nations and so called Breton woods. They may have to nationalise our resources and companies among those which were privatised under unclear circumstances. They will have to ruthlessly fight against corruption, embezzlement and neo colonialism.

 

 

Death sentences may even be brought up on some cases of embezzlement and attempts to dupe a country on any neo colonial deal or staking our sovereignty.

 

The strategic implementation of these polices may also earn us punitive sanctions from the already rich nations and groupings. It may also earn us isolation but I think if that is the price, we have to pay, then, it’s worth sacrificing our lives and efforts to prepare a better future for the generations to come.

 

 

I regret for being too suspicious of IMF and the real intentions of so called G8, Paris Club or what will soon be called G 20 among others. Their efforts though sincere to them as they may be, have increased suffering in Africa as well as the connived sanctions on countries which do not dance to their tune.

 

The IMF conditions are terrible and it’s but normal that an impoverished population unconsciously vote to approve or acclaim IMF policies because they want something to eat for the next day.

 

Before our “president” took us to IMF in the mid 80s the economy of Cameroon was booming but since then, we have been going from bad to worst, from one complicated state to another. The value of our money is finished, taxes terribly increased, workers laid off, companies privatised, growing frustration etc.

 

 

If our leaders were more involved in fruitful South-South cooperation, that would be very nice. After all, some so called developing countries already produce almost all of what so called developed nations do.

 

But again, the issue is that, before most of our leaders get to power, they are “aided" by the imperialists and they have to sell part or all of our sovereignty as part of the bloody agreements which has continuously kept the richest continent economically poor. We have the natural wealth and ability to exploit this wealth, but have been unable to meet our immediate needs due to a terribly complicated and complex ring of impoverishment and sell outs.

 

 

The Nkrumahs wanted it better for us

At times I really doubt the capability and sincerity of the advisers of African leaders on economic, foreign policies and other political issues. I also always ask myself what African leaders usually discuss during their summits or they just make safari trips.

 

In 1963 Dr Nkwame Nkrumah had suggested several united platforms for Africa among which were single communication and telecommunication platform, the single currency for the continent. He was considered too foolish and idealistic by the neo colonial leaders we had at the time. Forty years later, Europe has just been implementing what Nkrumah has developed for Africa and it culminated with the European single Euro currency in 2002.

 

Our leaders have not learnt from that. I wonder when they will know that capitalism and institutions like the Bretton woods are there to destroy us.

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