How it works

How it works

Excerpts from an interview with BBC reporter Greg Palast.

LLOYD HART: Is it really truly a failure when a country implodes like Argentina just did or is it an opportunity or seen as an opportunity to go in and grab resources dirt cheap?

GREGORY PALAST: Well this is one of the problems. Actually [former World Bank economist Joe Stilitz] brought this up. In the IMF explosions like in Argentina, in Brazil and in Indonesia where there are riots in the streets. He calls them the IMF riots. They’re virtually written into the plan.

In fact I have been able to obtain inside documents from the IMF and World Bank which go through the steps. You actually see it in there where their squeezing and squeezing a country until the point where they know it will create an explosion as in Ecuador. They know it.

And so they use such polite terms as “We understand that these policies may create social unrest” what they mean is a riot, that means troops move into the street and they say “It will require firm resolve.”

LLOYD HART: Why does the US Treasury have a 51% stake in the World Bank.

GREGORY PALAST: If the US were to use it for good, that’s a hell of a lot of power. That’s not such a bad idea. The problem is that it has been pushing an agenda, which is very very, helpful to a few corporations in corporate America. . . . Not necessarily America but corporate America which are two quite different things. . .

Every single nation, every single nation that borrows from the IMF and the World Bank is given the conditionality of selling off their water systems, selling off their electric utilities. Golly, who does that benefit? Well a big subsidiary of Enron’s was Azurex, which was a company created to absorb these newly privatized water systems. So some one wins in this game and some one loses. And of course we’re beginning to see the big loser is now Argentina.