The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action: imf

U.S. Submits to IMF Scrutiny

David Kestenbaum, National Public Radio, September 15, 2008

"With the news of the Fannie and Freddie bailout still unfolding, former finance ministers from around the world met last week to discuss global economic stability. Some of them had a polite suggestion for the U.S., namely that a little international advice might have helped stave off the crisis....

"It's worth noting that the IMF is the world agency that countries turn to when they're in serious trouble, as Argentina has done during its recent flirtation with the brink. The IMF functions as a kind of global loan shark. Nations get money, but with a lot of strings attached. The IMF also doles out advice. A bunch of experts come to your country and conduct interviews. They look at your books and write a report.

"In practical terms, it's not a big deal. But symbolically, what [Former Finance Minister of India Yashwant] Sinha is suggesting would carry a lot of weight. Sinha says the U.S. has a history of giving advice to other countries about how to run their economies. It hasn't always been so good about listening....

"The U.S. Treasury says America has now agreed to get a stability assessment from the IMF. The announcement didn't get much attention, but officials at the IMF expect to start examining U.S. finances in the next couple months."

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