The international crisis that broke in summer 2008 demolished all the neo-liberal dogmas and exposed the deception behind them. Unable to deny their failure, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund claim they no longer uphold the set of neo-liberal policies known as the Washington Consensus. Yet, discredited though they may be, these two institutions are using the international crisis to return to the limelight.
For decades they have enforced the deregulation measures and structural adjustment programmes that have led to the current impasse. After this total fiasco the WB and the IMF must now account for their decisions before world opinion.
In addition, their economic forecasts are less than reliable. In November 2008 the IMF predicted a 2.2% global growth in 2009, then downsized it to 0.5% in January, finally acknowledging it would be negative in March. The reality, its experts are siding with major creditors against citizens whose fundamental rights are less and less respected.
While the economic context is fast deteriorating, the world’s big moneylenders are trying to keep the upper hand while placing a discredited and delegitimized IMF in the role of white knight — helping the poor and downtrodden to face the damages wrought by this current crisis. But the opposite is true. The principles defended by the IMF since the 1980s and denounced by CADTM since its inception are still the same. Governments that sign an agreement with the IMF in order to obtain a loan must still implement the same toxic recipes that aggravate the living conditions of their country’s people.