Global corruption costs trillions in bribes, lost growth … Public sector corruption siphons $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion annually from the global economy in bribes and costs far more in stunted economic growth, lost tax revenues and sustained poverty, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. – Reuters
The IMF has just announced that doing away with corruption worldwide is “critical for the achievement of macroeconomic stability.”
The Reuters article informs us that this is “one of the institution’s core mandates.”
Our perspective is far different.
From what we can tell, the IMF and the World Bank act as a kind of macroeconomic tag team, enticing third world countries with massive loans and then ripping apart whole economies when the loans aren’t paid back on time.
We arrived at these insights in part due to John Perkins’ famous book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
Here’s how TruthOut described the book during a 2014 interview with Perkins:
John Perkins is no stranger to making confessions. His well-known book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, revealed how international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, while publicly professing to “save” suffering countries and economies, instead pull a bait-and-switch on their governments: promising startling growth, gleaming new infrastructure projects and a future of economic prosperity – all of which would occur if those countries borrow huge loans from those organizations.
Far from achieving runaway economic growth and success, however, these countries instead fall victim to a crippling and unsustainable debt burden.
Reuters is reporting on a different and much more positive and responsible IMF. It’s portraying an IMF that is devoted to fighting corruption in order to benefit citizens around the world.
According to Reuters, “The Fund argues that strategies to fight corruption require transparency, a clear legal framework, a credible threat of prosecution and a strong drive to deregulate economies.”
But here, from The Daily Mail, posted in early April:
The IMF officials said a threat of an imminent financial catastrophe was needed to help reach a ‘decision point’, convincing German chancellor Angela Merkel on debt relief and Greece into accepting IMF “measures” against pensions and working conditions, said the transcript.
In other words, only a month or so ago, IMF officials were discussing a way to fake “financial catastrophe” to move Greek negotiations along.
Is that part of the “transparency” that the IMF seeks? Here’s what Perkins told TruthOut about Greece:
I want to draw upon Greece’s history. You’re a proud, strong country, a country of warriors … I would encourage the people of Greece to stand up: Don’t pay off those debts; have your own referendums; refuse to pay them off; go to the streets and strike. And so, I would encourage the Greek people to continue to do this.
… Don’t accept this criticism that it’s your fault, you’re to blame, you’ve got to suffer austerity, austerity, austerity. That only works for the rich people; it does not work for the average person or the middle class.
Build up that middle class; bring employment back; bring disposable income back to the average citizen of Greece. Fight for that; make it happen; stand up for your rights; respect your history as fighters and leaders in democracy, and show the world!
Perkins is exhorting Greeks to confront the IMF and the EU when it comes to the “austerity” that has been inflicted on the country.
Seen from Perkins’s standpoint, the problems affecting Greece are predictable enough. The country couldn’t pay back its sovereign debt in a timely manner and now Greeks have lost savings, pensions and whole bank accounts.
But Reuters is not writing about the IMF that Perkins is portraying.
The IMF paper – as Reuters reports it – doesn’t deal with any of these troubling issues. The crux graf of the Reuters’ article is this one:
[The IMF] said corruption’s indirect costs are substantially higher, reducing government revenues by encouraging tax evasion and reducing incentives to pay taxes, leaving less money available for public investments in infrastructure, health care and education.
We just wrote about this the other day. On what planet do international bureaucrats find that government revenues are in any sense appropriately or efficiently delivered?
Services provided by the -European Union are so lamentable that up to half of the countries now in the EU want to have referendums on leaving.
In the US huge amounts of tax revenue goes to the military-industrial complex, which in turn is fighting a “war” against terrorism. But if one uses available, public reports on the Internet, it soon becomes clear that war is a phony one and the terrorists have actually been put in place by US facilities.
Once more, the IMF seems to have a different grasp of reality regarding taxes and the way governments function.
More from Lagarde:
“Corruption also has a broader corrosive impact on society. It undermines trust in government and erodes the ethical standards of private citizens,”
And here is the real reason for this sudden attack on global corruption:
Lagarde is due to participate in a British government-sponsored anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday that will include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials including the presidents of Nigeria and Afghanistan.
We can see that the global regime we’ve covered previously is being put into place. First came the Panama Papers and now a more general attack on “corruption.”
Conclusion: This is part of an international power grab. The IMF and other agencies controlled by the West, and by the US and Britain in particular, are being repositioned as more aggressive, international regulators. Will this fight against international corruption yield positive results? Not really. It will simply endow obviously corrupt entities like the IMF and World Bank with even more power … and thus enhance the misery they already inflict.