News Release

IMF and Debt: Analysts Available

As thousands gather in Washington to protest the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the following analysts are available for interviews:

DENNIS KUCINICH
A member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kucinich (D-Ohio) said today: “Unless debt relief is delinked from a requirement of countries to follow IMF economic policies, the main beneficiary of Congressional funding for debt relief is the IMF. That’s because the IMF will receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, while poor countries will have to follow IMF dictates about government spending, health and education policy, monetary policy, privatization. But the IMF deserves much of the blame for the poverty, environmental degradation and unemployment of heavily indebted poor countries, since it has been telling them what they could and could not do for decades. If the U.S. gives a real gift to the world’s poorest countries, it should be freedom from the IMF.”
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CHERYL PAYER
Author of The Debt Trap: The IMF and the Third World and Lent and Lost: Foreign Credit and Third World Development, Payer said today: “Although the official raison d’etre of the IMF is purportedly to prevent and alleviate foreign currency and debt crises of poor countries, over its 54-year history the prescriptions of the IMF have done more to cause such crises, and exacerbate them, than any other factor. The IMF and the World Bank have persistently and without exception urged countries to spend down their reserves (rather than conserving and budgeting them), to borrow foreign currencies without regard to their ability to repay, and to override their own democratic institutions and decision-making processes in order to attract and placate potential sources of foreign investment.”

FRED AZCARATE
Executive director of Jobs with Justice, a national labor, student and religious coalition, Azcarate said today: “The lending policies of the IMF have a direct connection to the depression of workers’ wages around the world by fostering privatization, allowing for the creation of sweatshop working conditions and denying workers the right to organize. The IMF lends money to a developing nation based on certain conditions, like limiting the enforcement of the minimum wage or putting public projects in private hands. The WTO sets the rules for global trade; the IMF and World Bank help enforce these trading policies on governments with their lending practices. GE’s Jack Welch can say that he wants to put GE’s factories on barges, so they can move from country to country with the weakest labor and environmental laws; companies like GE are helped in this by the WTO, IMF and World Bank — and workers both in the U.S. and abroad suffer as we have a race to the bottom.”
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For the latest news releases examining the policies of the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization, go to: www.accuracy.org/trade-releases.htm

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020