News Release

Key Economic Issues: Oil, IMF, Euro


Director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project, Hauter said today: “Oil interests have used their enormous political power — which has increased with Exxon-Mobil and other mergers — to stop public policies that advance energy efficiency and conservation. Lehman Brothers reported recently that profits from the four largest oil companies are expected to more than double to a combined $50 billion this year alone. Texaco increased its net income by an astounding 473 percent in the first quarter of 2000.”
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Director of the 50 Years Is Enough Network, Njehu said today: “The International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which are meeting in Prague this week, make the rules for the global economy by imposing their economic recipes on the countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Their ‘structural adjustment programs,’ which force countries to cut essential services, in over 90 countries have paved the way for the corporate globalization that an international coalition of faith-based, labor, student, environmental, human rights and economic justice groups have been protesting for years.”
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Professor of Economics at Bryn Mawr College and author of “Globalization and Wages: The Down Escalator” in Dollars and Sense magazine, Du Boff said today: “The financial instability that ravaged Asia in 1997-98, Russia in 1998, Brazil in 1999 (and to a lesser extent the euro now) has caused substantial disagreement even in the World Bank and IMF — for example, the departure of the World Bank’s chief economist, Joseph Stiglitz. These institutions are refusing to address a major destabilizing force in the global economy, namely the free flow of capital across borders, since that would challenge free market orthodoxy.”
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Senior policy analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and co-author of the new report “The Emperor Has No Growth: Declining Economic Growth Rates in the Era of Globalization,” Naiman said today: “IMF, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury officials acknowledge that their policies have not helped the poor, but insist that these policies be continued, claiming that these policies promote economic growth. But the economic data contain no evidence that this is the case. On the contrary, there has been a growth slowdown worldwide, with developing countries losing $15 trillion in economic output over the last two decades due to lower growth.”
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Director of programs at the Financial Markets Center, D’Arista said today: “The rising dollar is as important as the falling euro. Causes are that oil is priced in dollars and with the cost up, Europe and Japan have to exchange more of their currencies for dollars to pay the higher price. Also, U.S. interest rates are higher and have risen faster than in other countries. That encourages capital flows into the U.S. and out of Europe. U.S. investment has been fueled by foreign, not domestic savings. Huge capital inflows are producing unsustainable growth, an overvalued dollar and enormous trade deficits.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (415) 552-5378; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167