Sixty-two years old, International Monetary Fund chief, Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested at the New York airport, while he was trying to fly away back to France, his native country, after sexual assault charges were filled against him. He has a history of being incriminated for sexual and corruption charges. Although, each time he was able to get away from the charges, filled against him. He probably thought, “we rape poor countries, their economies and finances, all the time and we are considered heroes for that. What could be wrong with raping a woman. This, too, may be considered a heroic event. Yeah! Power of IMF, power of men”.
IMF sold a “part of it’s gold reserves” in 2008 and fired 380 staff members to overcome a 400 million dollars shortfall in it’s budget. Please, note that IMF is supposed to be responsible to help member countries to balance their national budgets. At the top of it, the chief was still staying in a $3000.00 per night hotel in New York.
It is a common complaint amongst the member countries that certain countries have the monopoly on IMF and the others do not get a fair share in it’s regulation. Wikipedia article “International Monetary Fund” reports, In 2001, now, the world’s second largest economy, “People’s Republic Of China was prevented from increasing its quota as high as it wished, ensuring it remained at the level of the smallest G7 economy (Canada). At the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit, the U.S. raised the possibility that some European countries would reduce their votes in favor of increasing the votes for emerging economies. However, both France and Britain were particularly reluctant as an increase in China’s votes would mean China now has more votes than the UK and France. At a subsequent IMF meeting in Istanbul, the same month as the Pittsburgh Summit, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn then highlighted that “If we don’t correct them, we’ll have the recipe for the next major crisis.” Citing the seriousness of the issue to be tackled.” China that is supposed to have second largest quota and votes, as per the size of it’s economy, is still at number six with 4.42% of quota and 3.65% of votes.
There is a popular notion, now-a -days that policies in almost all the countries of world are being controlled by big banks. This is specially true when you look at the ways IMF works. The member countries borrowing money from IMF are required to launch certain reforms, termed as Washington Consensus, by critiques and other experts.
The IMF loans are always associated with conditionality like, what is called as structural adjustment programs (SAP). It is claimed that conditionality (economic performance targets established as a precondition for IMF loans) retard social stability and hence inhibit the stated goals of the IMF, while Structural Adjustment Programs lead to an increase in poverty in recipient countries.
The IMF sometimes advocates “austerity programs,” increasing taxes even when the economy is weak, in order to generate government revenue and bring budgets closer to a balance, thus reducing budget deficits. Countries are often advised to lower their corporate tax rate. These policies were criticized by Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank, in his book Globalization and Its Discontents. He argued that by converting to a more Monetarist approach, the fund no longer had a valid purpose, as it was designed to provide funds for countries to carry out Keynesian reflections, and that the IMF “was not participating in a conspiracy, but it was reflecting the interests and ideology of the Western financial community.”
Argentina, which had been considered by IMF to be a model country in its compliance to policy proposals by the Bretton Woods institutions, experienced a catastrophic economic crisis in 2001, which some believe to have been caused by IMF-induced budget restrictions—which undercut the government’s ability to sustain national infrastructure even in crucial areas such as health, education, and security—and privatization of strategically vital national resources. Others attribute the crisis to Argentina’s misdesigned fiscal federalism, which caused sub national spending to increase rapidly. The crisis added to widespread hatred of this institution in Argentina and other South American countries, with many blaming the IMF for the region’s economic problems. The left wing popularity in the region and demand to have policies independent of the pressure from big banks is widely considered a direct consequence of IMF policies.
A number of civil society organizations have criticized the IMF’s policies for their impact on people’s access to food, particularly in developing countries. In October 2008, former U.S. president Bill Clinton presented a speech to the United Nations World Food Day, which criticized the World Bank and IMF for their policies on food and agriculture:
We need the World Bank, the IMF, all the big foundations, and all the governments to admit that, for 30 years, we all blew it, including me when I was president. We were wrong to believe that food was like some other product in international trade, and we all have to go back to a more responsible and sustainable form of agriculture.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Speech at United Nations World Food Day, October 16, 2008
In 2008 a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe by tuberculosis as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries to which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6%.
In 2009 a book by Rick Rowden titled The Deadly Ideas of Neoliberalism: How the IMF has Undermined Public Health and the Fight Against Aids, claimed that the IMF’s monetarist approach towards prioritizing price stability (low inflation) and fiscal restraint (low budget deficits) was unnecessarily restrictive and has prevented developing countries from being able to scale up long-term public investment as a percent of GDP in the underlying public health infrastructure. The book claimed the consequences have been chronically under funded public health systems, leading to dilapidated health infrastructure, inadequate numbers of health personnel, and demoralizing working conditions that have fueled the “push factors” driving the brain drain of nurses migrating from poor countries to rich ones, all of which has undermined public health systems and the fight against HIV/AIDS in developing countries.
IMF policies have been repeatedly criticized for making it difficult for indebted countries to avoid ecosystem-damaging projects that generate cash flow, in particular oil, coal, and forest-destroying lumber and agriculture projects.