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A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘IMF’

Replacing Strauss-Kahn with a Wall Street Washington appointee: “Hardliner” Lagarde is a shoo in

Posted by seumasach on May 26, 2011

Mike Whitney

Global Research

25th May, 2011

French Finance Minster Christine Lagarde has emerged as the front-runner in the race to replace ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. She is a champion swimmer, an accomplished attorney, and a competent bureaucrat. She’s also a friend of Wall Street who will ferociously defend the interests of big capital. Here’s how The Guardian summed up Lagarde’s impressive resume:

“Christine Lagarde stands for protecting big banks…..she’s the most pro-bank bailout of the lot.

“The Americans are going to try and put in White House adviser David Lipton as number two. Lipton is Mr Bank Bailout. He worked for Citigroup. If they put in Lagarde and Lipton, what does that say? We are going with the total bank protection plan. That would be a disaster.” (“IMF under growing pressure to appoint non-European head”, The Guardian)

According to the New York Times Lagarde is not only a snappy dresser, but has plenty of friends in Washington and Wall Street. Here’s an excerpt from the NYT:

“Ms. Lagarde, the former head of the Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie, lived in the United States for 25 years. Tall and stylish, with a shock of silver hair and a penchant for Chanel jackets, she is as connected and as respected in Washington and on Wall Street as in Europe.” (A Favorite Emerges for Helm of I.M.F., New York Times)

Not surprisingly, Lagarde supports weaker regulations so that banks and other financial institutions can continue to rake in windfall profits while increasing the risks to the broader economy. According to Reuters:

“I see the danger that too strict regulation at the center leads to a flight to the borderlands,” Lagarde said in an article published in the Friday edition of German newspaper Handelsblatt.” (“Too strict regulation risks flight”, Reuters)

Lagarde has also taken a hardline approach to problems in Greece and rejects the idea of debt forgiveness or restructuring. She believes that bondholders and bankers must be repaid regardless of the costs to Greek workers who have suffered through 3 years of Depression, 18% unemployment, savage cutbacks in social services, massive privatization of public assets, and a debt-to-GDP ratio that gets worse every year the belt-tightening continues. Lagarde appears to believe that the people who blew up the financial system should be rewarded for their efforts. Here’s an excerpt for the Wall Street Journal:

“French finance minister Christine Lagarde said late Monday, after a meeting with finance officials from the European Union, that a rescheduling or reprofiling of Greek debt is NOT an option….. Executing the planned austerity program, proper implementation of privatization, and commitments across the political spectrum in Greece are the key for a solution in Greece, Lagarde said.” (“France’s Lagarde: Option Of Rescheduling Greek Debt Not On Table”, Wall Street Journal)

So the belt-tightening will intensify under Lagarde, which is a signal to bankers that she can be trusted to protect their interests, and all the talk about “soft restructuring” or reforms a la Strauss-Kahn will end.

There will be no more talk about replacing the dollar with SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) either. Lagarde is not going to rock the boat. The only reforms she’ll be working on are “labor reforms”, a familiar buzzword among the financial elite for union busting.

It’s worth noting that the normally-subdued Lagarde could hardly contain herself when Bin Laden was assassinated. She even suggested that it might help to boost sales in the US. Here’s the report from Reuters:

“French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde welcomed the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and said his death could bolster consumer confidence and economic growth in the United States.

“The U.S. economy is like the American people. It reacts very quickly either positively or negatively,” Lagarde told France 2 television. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this event prompted a pick-up in confidence.” (“France sees U.S. economic lift from bin Laden death”, Reuters)

Of course, Lagarde’s enthusiasm was not tempered by the fact that international law forbids targeted assassinations of non-state actors. After all, “real” leaders are never constrained by something as trivial as the law.

So, it looks like Wall Street may have found a replacement for the mercurial Strauss Kahn. There won’t be any debt-restructuring, bondholders will be paid in full, and the dollar’s dominant role as the world’s reserve currency will go unchallenged.

Lagarde just announced her candidacy this morning (May 25), but already she’s won the approval of Washington, Wall Street, the big banks, and the EU heads of state. She’s a shoo in.

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China says IMF wrong to question Congo deal

Posted by smeddum on June 6, 2009

China says IMF wrong to question Congo deal
Tue Jun 2, 2009

By Joe Bavier

KINSHASA (Reuters) – The IMF must present new arguments to justify its call for changes to a $9 billion infrastructure-for-minerals deal between China and Democratic Republic of Congo, China’s ambassador to the country said on Tuesday.

International Monetary Fund officials worry the contract, a key element of President Joseph Kabila’s post-war economic policy, will plunge the central African nation deeper into debt, and have delayed forgiveness of most of the $10 billion Congo already owes. Read the rest of this entry »

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China Willing to Buy Up to $50 Billion in IMF Bonds

Posted by smeddum on June 5, 2009

JUNE 5, 2009,
China Willing to Buy Up to $50 Billion in IMF Bonds


BEIJING – China said Friday it is willing to buy as much as $50 billion in bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund, part of a deal made by the world’s major economies earlier this year to boost the resources the global agency has to combat financial crises. Read the rest of this entry »

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China may offer IMF $100b during G20 summit: expert

Posted by smeddum on March 26, 2009

By Zuo Likun and Dong Zhixin (
2009-03-25 09:58

China may offer US$100 billion in additional financing to the International Monetary Fund during the upcoming G20 summit in London, giving the agency more ammunition to fight the unfolding global financial and economic crisis, a senior economist said on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Financial crisis | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Ahmadinejad: World economic system ‘unfair’

Posted by seumasach on March 11, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the world monetary system serves the interests of global economic powers in an “unfair” way.

“The international economic order is unfair, inefficient and harmful to many countries,” Ahmadinejad said as he delivered a speech at the 10th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit in Tehran on Wednesday.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Multipolar world | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Secret Plan For IMF World Dictatorship G-20 Summit In DC On 11-15-8

Posted by seumasach on November 11, 2008

Webster Tarpley

11th November, 2008

This is a confidential strategy paper for the November 15 G-20 summit in Washington DC. This is not a new Bretton Woods in any sense, but rather a British-steered attempt to impose the dictatorship of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the entire planet, wiping out all hope of economic recovery, the modernization of the developing countries, and national sovereignty at the same time.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Financial crisis | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

China: Protecting domestic economy is top priority

Posted by smeddum on November 11, 2008

China: Protecting domestic economy is top priority

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government indicated Tuesday it would resist pressure to contribute to a global bailout fund, saying that ensuring the country’s economic stability is the most important step it can take to tackle the financial crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF must end its “imperialist” ways-France

Posted by smeddum on November 10, 2008

“the institution must improve its public relations”

Lagarde is obviously trying to help resuscitate the IMF with some kind of makeover. The imperialist ways of the IMF stem simply from the fact that it is largely controlled from Washington and London. There is nothing to stop the G20 itself from raising and administering any bailout fund.


IMF must end its “imperialist” ways-France

Reuters, Sunday November 9 2008 Guardian

SAO PAULO, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Several countries are deeply scarred by the “imperialist” approach taken by International Monetary Fund in past lending packages and the institution must improve its public relations, France said on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

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The West in retreat, the pot running dry

Posted by smeddum on November 2, 2008

The West in retreat, the pot running dry
October 30, 2008
LONDON — We are witnessing another great retreat by the West. The International Monetary Fund is patching up the casualties in Central and Eastern Europe but the funds are running out and Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, is rushing to the Gulf to beg for funds. Turkey, our ally in the Near East, may also be in need of help and something must be done for Pakistan. A financial collapse on the front line of the war against the Taliban is not a risk worth contemplating. Read the rest of this entry »

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Latin America’s New Consensus

Posted by smeddum on October 31, 2008

Latin America’s New Consensus
Foreign Policy In Focus
When the Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz said the great tragedy of Mexico was that it was so far from God and so close to the United States, the comment summed up the long and tortured relationship between the Colossus of the North and Latin America. Read the rest of this entry »

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The IMF Can Print Money Like a Central Bank

Posted by seumasach on October 29, 2008

George Washington’s blog

27th october, 2008

In an article entitled “IMF may need to ‘print money’ as crisis spreads”, the Telegraph reveals that the IMF has the power to create money just like the Federal Reserve:

“The nuclear option is to print money by issuing Special Drawing Rights, in effect acting as if it were the world’s central bank. This was done briefly after the fall of the Soviet Union but has never been used as systematic tool of policy to head off a global financial crisis.

‘The IMF can in theory create liquidity like a central bank,’ said an informed source. ‘There are a lot of ideas kicking around.'”

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