Tuesday, April 11, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Activists Announce Boycott of World Bank Bonds
2000-04-11

Teach-in On World Bank and International Monetary Fund

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

As demonstrations heat up in Washington around the IMF-World Bank in Washington, with a major labor rally planned tomorrow to protest China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization, today we take a look at the history of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Many people use these names interchangeably, but the institutions were originally created for different purposes and with different agendas.

This is how Global Exchange describes their origins:

The World Bank and the IMF were created near the end of World War II by the US and British governments. During the war, much of the business class of Europe had either supported the Nazis or fled Europe with their wealth. But socialists, communists and anarchists enjoyed popular support, since they had led the resistance to Nazism.

In order to prevent leftists from coming to power, the US and Britain decided to create international institutions that would promote free-market policies and strengthen the power of the corporate sector.

After an initial focus in Western Europe, the World Bank shifted its lending to finance railroads, bridges and other infrastructures in the Global South. The IMF was established to smooth global commerce by making foreign currency exchanges easier and using its reserve funds to lend countries experiencing temporary cash-flow problems so that they could continue to trade without interruption.

But according to critics, the unwritten goal of both institutions was to consolidate power and wealth in the hands of a few, and to maintain existing power relations.

Guest:

  • Cheryl Payer, author of the books ??The Debt Trap: The IMF and the Third World and ??Lent and Lost: Foreign Credit and Third World Development.

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Davis_mcbath_dunn_rally_protest_black-lives-matter
    Black Lives Matter: New Film on Jordan Davis Captures Family’s Struggle to Convict White Vigilante
    We are broadcasting from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, where a new film takes on the subject of the growing nationwide protests over the killing of unarmed African Americans by examining one of the cases to make national headlines in recent years: the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The film, "3 1/2 Minutes," tells the story of what happened on Nov. 23, 2012, when four teenagers pulled into a Florida gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. They were soon confronted by Michael Dunn, a middle-aged white man who pulled...

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.