Political and geostrategic stakes of IMF/World Bank

intervention in the periphery (1960 - 2000)

(Campaigning against structural adjustment and debt)

Eric Toussaint <cadtm@skynet.be>

1. Political stakes of World Bank intervention in 1960-70

Context: national liberation struggles, decolonization, revolutionary struggles

Regimes and projects supported by the World Bank

World Bank's role in the periphery's getting into debt


2. The other actors in the politics of getting into debt

Private banks in the imperialist countries: from eurodollars to petrodollars

The imperialist countries' governments: support to their export industries

The bourgeoisies and governments of dependent capitalist countries


3. The debt crisis: 1982 - ...

The IMF takes the stage

Structural adjustment: what is being adjusted?

Shock treatment: devaluation, higher interest rates, ending subsidies for basic products and services, cutting the budget deficit

Structural reforms: privatization; abandonment of tariff protection; tax reform; agrarian counter-reform; institutional reforms


4. Balance sheet of the debt crisis and adjustment policies: review of the political and geostrategic stakes of IMF/World Bank intervention

Increased subordination of the periphery to the centre

Capital's offensive against labour

Mechanism of transfer of wealth


5. Characteristics of the current situation

The ongoing debt crisis