As per promised here is the first instalment of my interpretation of the 10 rules of the Washington Consensus as worded in 1989 by John Williamson, an economist from the Institute for International Economics.
I had to get my head around the form I was going to do this series in so hence the delay of a couple of days;
In order to be able to fit the 10 rules in the bigger picture I thought I’d start with a bit of history of some of the organizations who are instrumental in implementing the “rules”.
I would also like to talk about what we have come to know as the Economic Hitmen and Jackals from John Perkin’s book “Confessions of an economic hitman” in which he comes clean about his part as an economic hitman in the system used to implement the Washington consensus.
I think both are important because it explains the perfidy of the Washington Consensus and its implementation.
In order to understand how the consensus works it is important to know about its history and that history is closely related to the history of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury Department.
Here is the official story:
The World Bank was born along with the IMF at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference that decided on the financial architecture of the post-WWII world, only at that time it was known as the “International Bank for Reconstruction and Development” and was concerned primarily with post-war reconstruction of Europe. After the implementation of the Marshall Plan in 1947, however, its focus shifted to the non-European world where it provided development loans targeted at helping developing countries create income-generating infrastructure (power plants, seaports, highways, etc.).
From the very beginning there has been question about the overlap of the IMF and World Bank’s respective roles. Both are committed, according to the IMF website, to “raising living standards in their member countries,” but the IMF is financial in nature, concentrating on short and medium-term loans to help countries meet balance of payment needs , while the World Bank is fundamentally a development institution, focusing on technical and financial support for specific projects or sectoral reforms. Part of the confusion is linguistic; at the first ever meeting meeting of the IMF the “father” of Bretton Woods, John Maynard Keynes (who else?), confessed he thought the Fund should be called a bank and the Bank should be called a fund. Nevertheless, the monikers have stuck and the World Bank and IMF continue to talk the talk of global infrastructure development and poverty reduction. More
However that is just the glossy PR side of things. Here is what really happens:
I won’t explain this myself because John Perkins who wrote “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” is a Washington Consensus insider and he is much better at explaining it than I am. He, after all, was one of those people implementing the consensus and all its filthy, corrupt practices enslaving billions of the poorest people around the globe. I want to mention one last thing before I urge you to watch this presentation made by John Perkins at the Marlboro College in 2009.
Both John Key and Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler are global banker insiders. Graeme Wheeler in fact spend much of his career at the top of the World bank implementing the Washington Consensus and was living in Washinton working as a financial advisor at the time he was called back to take the job as governor of the NZ Reserve bank. He is what I call a foreign Kiwi, just like John Key and the Ian Fletcher who is now heading the GCSB.
With this in mind I present to you:
The secret History of American Empire