Sunday, February 29, 2004

Nestor Kirchner versus the IMF

The IMF claims that Argentina owes it a large amount of money. The IMF banksters want Argentina to pay the money back, by which they mean restructure the loans, by which they mean continue the process of damaging the economy and people of Argentina by introducing more 'free trade' (i.e. free movement of capital and goods to give capital a competitive advantage over labor, coupled with a reduction in real free trade regarding the intellectual property claimed by large corporations), more 'flexible' labor laws (i. e., no protection for workers at all), privatization (i. e., give the assets of the people away to the international rich for free), and reduced government budgets and regulation (i. e., pay the banksters on the backs of the poor and working classes). The President of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, has refused to make repayments of the $88 billion debt until hunger, poverty and social conflict in the country have improved, meaning that he has the audacity to question the neoliberal 'consensus' that the needs of the people can be looked after only after the banksters have been satisfied (Kirchner is a man who ought to be very careful of an IMF hit job). He is talking about requiring the banksters to take a 75% haircut on government bonds (which may in fact work out to a 90% haircut, meaning the mullet will no longer be a possible fashion choice for banksters). The usual pattern is that those countries unfortunate enough to fall into the clutches of the IMF are true basket cases, with non-functioning economies. It is thought that IMF support is necessary to prevent a complete collapse of such economies. The IMF works essentially like a mafia loan shark, rolling the loans over on condition that more of the wealth of the people be ceded to the banksters (there is even a World Bank/IMF plan, revealed by Joseph Stiglitz, to use the indebted state of countries to force them to disgorge wealth to those interests who control the World Bank/IMF). A good chunk of each new tranche of loans is drawn off by the crooks who run the country and who agreed to each restructuring, meaning that much of the money disappears from the system, and no improvement in the economy ever takes place. Argentina has been a kleptocracy for much of the last hundred years, and has thus fallen into the hands of the IMF mafia hoodlums. Where Argentina differs - and this is where things get very interesting - is that it is not an economic basket case. Argentina has a completely functioning and efficient first-world economy which runs a trade surplus, and its problems are entirely caused by the combination of government corruption and the 'reforms' of the geniuses at the IMF, particularly the moronic move to peg the currency to the American dollar (with an ensuing 'bubble' created by Wall Street to make commissions selling bonds, and with further trouble caused when it tried to prop up its own bond market by fiddling with the terms of the Argentine bonds). Argentina doesn't need the continued involvement of the IMF to operate. In fact, the main cause of Argentina's current state is the IMF itself, and the ridiculous things it has forced prior governments of Argentina to do. Argentina is in the position to tell the banksters that it is not going to repay any of the money claimed by the IMF, and there would be nothing but benefits to the country. The people of Argentina are not responsible for the results of a series of criminal conspiracies between various Argentinian politicians and businessmen and the IMF banksters, and the stupidity of IMF meddling in the decisions of the politicians just emphasizes the fact that the IMF has no moral right to be repaid. In fact, the people of Argentina are owed a huge debt from these corrupt politicians and IMF clowns who have ruined the lives of millions so that the financial institutions they work for can make a killing. Repudiating the debt would cause a minor stir, and the next day the country would wake up to a brilliant future free of the shackles of the IMF. Banks will still lend to Argentine companies because they can still make money doing so, and bankers are greedy (the biggest lie in the world is that corporations will no longer have access to international capital after a repudiation, when in fact repudiation will make Argentine corporations even more attractive to international capital). Argentina is in the unique position of being able to reestablish itself without the IMF, a move that will not only immeasurably improve the lives of its own people, but will serve as an example to other countries that it is possible to tell the IMF to fuck off.