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Parchment in the Fire: Greek Leaks Expose IMF Chief Overruling Pro-Debt Relief IMF Negotiator

Filed under: Eurozone crisis, Southern Europe, Uncategorized Tagged: Austerity, Eurozone Crisis, Greece, IMF . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Greek Leaks Expose IMF Chief Overruling Pro-Debt Relief IMF Negotiator

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Rick Salutin argues that we need to say no to any more trade agreements designed to privilege corporations at the expense of the public. Will Martin reports on the IMF’s long-overdue recognition of the failures of ne… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Greg Jericho is the latest to weigh in on the false promises of neoliberalism:An article in the IMF’s latest issue of is journal Finance and Development notes that “instead of delivering growth, some neolibe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Andrea Germanos follows up on the IMF’s realization that handing free money and power to corporations does nothing for the economy as it affects people’s lives. And Susie Cagle examines the role of tech money -… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Murray Dobbin is hopeful that we may be seeing corporate globalization based on unquestioned neoliberal ideology come to an end: There is no definitive way to identify when an ideology begins to lose its grip on the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Barbara Tasch writes about the IMF’s latest research on growing inequality in developing and developed countries alike. And Michael Krassa and Benjamin Radcliff study the impact an improved minimum wage can have on economic well-being: Simply stated, as the minimum wage increases, the economic wellbeing of the national . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

CuriosityCat: IMF rides to Greece defence with shocking dose of reality

Legarde leads the cavalry to the rescue

Despite attempts by the top EU states to suppress its latest report, the IMF, led by managing director Christine Lagarde, has spoken truth to the powerfulwith a dramatic report that clearly indicates three things. First, Greece cannot repay the crushing national debt it now has. This means . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: IMF rides to Greece defence with shocking dose of reality

Parchment in the Fire: IMF Demands Debt Relief for Greece

In a rather surprising turn of events today, the IMF has released a statement demanding debt relief for Greece. This vindicates Varoufakis’ position that Greek debt was unsustainable, positions the IMF against Germany and its allies, and finally brings the IMF into line with its own research – research that has been leaking out over . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: IMF Demands Debt Relief for Greece

Dead Wild Roses: Greece – Will The People Accept the Dismantling of Civil Society (Austerity)?

Here at DWR we’ve been keeping an eye on the Greek economic situation. As early as 2010 we commented that the IMF had been working its magic on the Greek economy:

“Did you ever want to see a society remade into the corporatist mode? Greece is going down that path right now. The IMF . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Greece – Will The People Accept the Dismantling of Civil Society (Austerity)?

The Disaffected Lib: Next Up, Spain

As events unfold over the next few weeks following today’s No victory in Greece there’ll be plenty of people watching in Spain.  That country’s Podemos movement promotes a similar sort of anti-austerity platform to that of Greece’s Syrzia.  It’s hard to imagine today’s defiant events in Greece not having a knock on effect in Spain . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Next Up, Spain

Political Eh-conomy: Oxi: a political opening amid economic ruin

This week has been a taste of what the economy would look like with a real rupture with the Eurozone: uncertainty, elite blackmail, banks teetering on the brink and the start of rationing. That the mobilization of Syriza and the left outside it has overcome this and made Oxi a possibility is impressive. Greece and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Oxi: a political opening amid economic ruin

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Oxi: a political opening amid economic suffocation

This week has been a taste of what the economy would look like with a real rupture with the Eurozone: uncertainty, elite blackmail, banks teetering on the brink and the start of rationing. That the mobilization of Syriza and the left outside it has overcome this and made Oxi a possibility is impressive. Greece and . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Oxi: a political opening amid economic suffocation

A Different Point of View....: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

…and will we follow Dutch court &

challenge Harper on climate change?

Two remarkable developments during the past week that could have a significant impact in many countries have been pretty much ignored in Canada and the United States.

First, a major research document published by five top economists at the . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

A Different Point of View....: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

…and will we follow Dutch court &

challenge Harper on climate change?

Two remarkable developments during the past week that could have a significant impact in many countries are worth a lot more attention in Canada and the United States.

First, a major research document published by five top economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted that the strong pro-capitalist policies at the centre of its activities in developing countries for the past 30 years do not work.

One of the IMF’s main roles in recent years has been to bail out countries during financial crises. In return for loans, some 60 mostly poor countries have been forced to follow strict rules, such as privatizing government resources, deregulating controls to open markets to foreign investment, and restricting what they can spend in areas such as education and health care.
Now the paper, Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective, says there needs to be a shift and that greater income equality in both developing and developed countries should become a priority.

Dutch told to act on emissions

The other significant – but unrelated development – which received scant attention, concerns a ground-breaking decision judges in the Netherlands. They ordered the Netherlands government to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least a remarkable 25 per cent by 2020.

The ruling came after almost 900 Dutch citizens, headed by the group Urgenda, took their government to court in April in a class action lawsuit to force a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. Netherlands has been lagging behind other European countries in tackling climate change.
Significantly, the challenge was based, not on environmental law, but on human rights principles. Urgenda asked the courts to “declare that global warming of more than two degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of human rights worldwide.” 
The court said, “The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts … Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”
“A courageous judge. This is fantastic,” said Sharona Ceha, a member of the climate change group Urgenda. “This is for my children and grandchildren.”
The international community is attempting to set limit global warming to 2C over pre-industrial levels. Countries are to publish their own undertakings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a hoped-for global deal to be agreed in Paris in December.
While the Dutch government can appeal the ruling to a higher court, lawsuits against governments and companies in Europe have increasingly been seen as a way to press for action against climate change.
The Amsterdam-based group said the case was the first in Europe in which citizens attempted to hold the state responsible for its potentially devastating inaction and the first in the world in which human rights are used as a legal basis to protect citizens against climate change.
The landmark case could very well set an important precedent for public interest groups in other countries. Cases are already being brought forward in Belgium, Norway and the Philippines.  
Perhaps this is a course Canadian environmental groups should consider. Diane Saxe thinks so. As the Toronto-based environmental lawyer told the CBC’s The Current, “The more I read the Dutch court decision, the more I’m getting excited about it, because the arguments made by the three judges could be made in Canada . . . .I think it eventually will happen.” 

IMF denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics

In the other story, the IMF report contradicted its long-held position of following hard-nosed capitalist guidelines. It said that the dreaded concept of ‘trickle-down’ economics – which it forced on developing countries and which is practiced by the Harper government – should be abandoned.
“To tackle inequality, financial inclusion is imperative in emerging and developing countries, while in advanced economies, policies should focus on raising human capital and skills and making tax systems more progressive,” concludes the report. Wages and living standards for the bottom 20 per cent should be raised, worker protections improved, and environmental standards implemented.
The practices and policies of the IMF have been controversial for many years.
The rich and powerful countries that control the IMF have used the body’s loans program to force their preferred economic policies on poor countries, even though rich countries themselves did not employ the same strict measures on themselves when they were developing.
The report’s critical analysis also applies to neo-liberal economic policies practiced by most Western governments, including the United States, Canada and several European countries.
The document was enthusiastically received by IMF critics, who have accused the world body of hindering – not helping – development in several poor countries over the years.
“Fighting inequality is not just an issue of fairness but an economic necessity,” said Nicholas Mombrial of Oxfam International in response to the report. “And that’s not Oxfam speaking, but the International Monetary Fund.”
“By releasing this report, the IMF has shown that ‘trickle-down’ economics is dead; you cannot rely on the spoils of the extremely wealthy to benefit the rest of us. Governments must urgently refocus their policies to close the gap between the richest and the rest if economies and societies are to grow,” said Mombrial.

Austerity increases poverty

Critics strongly object to austerity measures that have been forced upon most of the 60 countries where the IMF has been providing loans.   

“Such belt-tightening measures increase poverty, reduce countries’ ability to develop strong domestic economies and allow multinational corporations to exploit workers and the environment,” argues Global Exchange, an international human rights organization.
Global Exchange charges that the IMF contributes to poverty instead of alleviating it: “Nearly 80 percent of all malnourished children in the developing world live in countries where farmers have been forced to shift from food production for local consumption to the production of export crops destined for wealthy countries.”
It’s very likely that the IMF will change some of its policies concerning developing countries. However, change may be slow. The IMF is a huge and complex organization where the wheels grind slowly. Secondly, the Western countries that control the organization tend to be strongly influenced by powerful and wealthy people who benefit from “trickle down” economics.  
When the IMF finally makes significant policy changes, and if countries were to follow its lead in their own economic planning, many countries could experience a significant change in income distribution. Perhaps it will result in the one per cent no longer owning 48 per cent of the world’s wealth. 
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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Can the IMF turn over a new leaf and challenge the 1%?

Parchment in the Fire: IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt | World news | The Guardian

IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt | World news | The Guardian.

Filed under: Austerity Tagged: Austerity, Eurozone Crisis, Greece, IMF, Syriza, Troika

. . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt | World news | The Guardian

Political Eh-conomy: Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive

My latest piece on Greece was published yesterday at Ricochet. In short, Europe and the IMF’s message that ‘there still is no alternative’ proves that objective of punitive austerity is political, not economic. Here it is in full:

The project’s aim is to make an example of Greece and solidify austerity as the only option . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive

My latest piece on Greece was published yesterday at Ricochet. In short, Europe and the IMF’s message that ‘there still is no alternative’ proves that objective of punitive austerity is political, not economic. Here it is in full:

The project’s aim is to make an example of Greece and solidify austerity as the only option . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Daniel Tencer discusses the latest evidence that trickle-down economics are a fraud, while David Roberts and Javier Zarracina write about how the elite seems to get its own way even when the results are worse for everybody. And Heather Stewart reports on the IMF’s findings as to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

Political Eh-conomy: Repeat after me: Alberta isn’t Greece

Last week it was Andrew Coyne; this week it’s Jack Mintz. Seems all the National Post’s favourite conservative commentators have suddenly decided to offer their Very Serious Advice™ to Alberta’s new government. While Coyne made a spurious comparison between raising the minimum wage and instituting a minimum income, Mintz outdoes him with an even more . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Repeat after me: Alberta isn’t Greece

Parchment in the Fire: An ageing population isn’t the reason for stunted economic growth – austerity is

An ageing population isn’t the reason for stunted economic growth – austerity is.

Filed under: Austerity Tagged: Austerity, IMF

. . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: An ageing population isn’t the reason for stunted economic growth – austerity is

The Progressive Economics Forum: The slow transformation of the IMF

Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

In its recent report released in early June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made some startling policy announcements: given the general depressed economic condition in the world economy, now is not the time to pay down the national debt if that implies sacrificing . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The slow transformation of the IMF

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Jay Baron Nicorvo discusses how the myth of U.S. meritocracy serves largely as a means of funneling profits toward the 1%. And Mary Hansen points out one way of fighting back against evolving forms of corporate power – being the development of new, cooperative alternatives to businesses designed . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on the IMF and labour market deregulations

LABOUR MARKET DEREGULATIONS NOT WORKING: IMF

See original CBC column here.

Recent — and potentially watershed — International Monetary Fund (IMF) documents have cast doubt on the merits of labour market deregulation of the last three decades, with important consequences for Canada. But will anyone listen?

The last 30 years have not been kind to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on the IMF and labour market deregulations

The Disaffected Lib: Deadlier Than Putin’s Missiles. The IMF Pays Ukraine a Visit.

The International Monetary Fund has worked its magic on Ukraine.  The carrot is about $17-billion in bailout funding.  The stick is the market price of natural gas. Soon the democracy-loving Ukrainians will see their gas bills soar nearly threefold.

While Kiev will have to help poorer families pay for pricier gas, the cost of . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Deadlier Than Putin’s Missiles. The IMF Pays Ukraine a Visit.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Cam Dearlove writes a must-read column on the role of housing in building a healthy society: For housing advocates and researchers, our nation’s inability to make headway on homelessness and housing instability is not only a moral failure, but also a financial one. Studies have consistently shown . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links