Tag Archives: IMF

Latvia and the politics of permanent austerity

In 2008 Latvia was hit by the economic crisis that saw its economy shrink substantially. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, Latvia’s GDP slumped by 10.5% compared to the same period in 2007. Prior to the financial crisis, the Latvian economy had been growing rapidly for a number of years. In response to its…

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Greece, an African tragedy

When the troika (the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission) rode into town, the Greeks didn’t have to look far too to see what impact the troika’s policies would have on them. Just across the Mediterranean lay an entire continent littered with examples of failed IMF policies. Greece has, in essence, become another African…

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The truth about extreme global inequality

The crisis of capital, the rise of the Occupy movement and the crash of Southern Europe have brought the problem of income inequality into mainstream consciousness in the West for the first time in many decades. Now everyone is talking about how the richest 1% have captured such a disproportionate share of wealth in their…

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The neoliberal plague: Aids and capitalism

Another World Aids Day is behind us and the usual spatter of annual reports and politicians’ eager promises continue to reverberate through the media. If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of the whole show at this point. After all, it’s 2012, we were supposed to have this epidemic licked by now. Why, despite billions…

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Will Banda’s international ‘success’ be her downfall?

Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, has been somewhat of a revelation ever since she assumed office in April 2012 following the death of then president, Bingu wa Mutharika. At the time, Malawi was facing all manner of problems — food, fuel and forex shortages — symbolised by long queues at shops and at service stations. Add…

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The World Bank’s ‘development’ delusion

When Jim Yong Kim took the helm of the World Bank in July, progressives in the development community hailed it as a turning point in the fight against poverty: for once the bank is headed not by a US military boss or a Wall Street executive, but by an actual expert in the field of…

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Is this finally Malawi’s Lazarus moment?

It was Eric Arthur Blair who once remarked; “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” Well, Malawi turned 48 on July 6 and for a country that has taken so much battering pre and post-independence perhaps it, too, has the face it deserves at that age. Yet, for just more than 100 days now…

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Joyce Banda and the IMF: A dangerous courtship

There is nothing new under the sun. Absolutely nothing. Not even woman presidents. Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba are among the very first of notable women leaders in the annals of history who wielded massive influence on what was then a global stage. Cleopatra (late 69 BCE – August 12, 30 BCE) in particular,…

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The advent of “democracy” in Egypt

Egypt’s presidential elections this month have been accompanied by the expected media fanfare in Europe and the United States. News outlets are awash with pictures of ink-stained fingers, photographs of people standing in snaking queues to vote through the heat of the day, and headlines hailing the elections as a historic “victory for democracy”. If these representations…

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The battle for the heart and soul of a new world order

The naïve amongst us really believed that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stood a fighting chance at landing the World Bank presidency. The realists and the cynics knew that the whole thing was but a mere charade. As things eventually turned out, the decision had already been made. If anything, the formality of going through the election process…

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