Pomoč IMF: Zdravilo ali strup?

Mednarodni denarni sklad (MDS) je bil v teh krajih – po jugoslovanski izkušnji s standby aranžmajih MDS in politiko stabilizacije v prvi polovici 1980-ih – vedno dokaj nepriljubljen. Večjo kredibilnost je užival drugod po svetu, saj naj bi mnogim državam z zagotovitvijo financiranja pomagal prebroditi plačilnobilančne težave,  brez da bi v tem procesu uničil razvojni potencial držav. Toda ključna sprememba v delovanju MDS naj bi se zgodila v začetku 1990-ih s prehodom na t.i. Washingtonski konsenz. Washingtonski konsenz – kot konsenz med washingtonskimi institucijami (MDS, Svetovna banka, Ameriško ministrstvo za finance), kakšne naj bi bile “zdrave” ekonomske politike – je v delovanje MDS prinesel t.i. neoliberalne koncepte – izogibanje fiskalnim deficitom, drseči tečaj, liberalizacija trgovine in kapitalskih tokov, znižanje davkov, privatizacija in deregulacija.

Ti koncepti oziroma politike sami po sebi in vsak zase niso slabi, pri čemer vsaka država vzdržuje lastno kombinacijo teh politik v skladu s svojimi specifičnimi razmerami in potrebami. Problem je, ker je MDS natanko eno kombinacijo teh politik vzel kot univerzalni model za vse države in začel pogojevati pomoč državam v težavah z uveljavitvijo teh politik v paketu in ne glede na ceno. In to v času krize. Denimo v času azijske krize 1997-98, ko je kapital dobesedno drl iz držav, je od držav zahteval prosto mobilnost kapitala in zahteval zmanjšanje javnih izdatkov, kar je še poglobilo krizo. Podobno napako je naredil tudi v Grčiji. Od Latinske Amerike, prek Azije do Evrope (Grčije) – koderkoli se je v zadnjih dveh desetletjih pojavil MDS, da bi pomagal, je predvsem drastično poslabšal situacijo z zahtevami po strukturnih prilagoditvah in premisami washingtonskega konsenza. Nekdanja pomoč MDS pri prilagajanju se je spremenila v strup.

Spodaj je nekaj poudarkov iz luštnega komentarja iz Deutsche Welle

Researchers have found that IMF programs were relatively successful especially in the lenders’ early years. Mohisin S. Khan, IMF director for the Middle East and Central Asia, for example, has looked into the bailouts for 69 developing countries during the period of 1973 to 1988. He found that the IMF programs’ short- and long-term impacts were largely positive on the countries’ current accounts, balance of payment and inflation figures. Among those rated as “IMF success stories,” were loan programs for Mexico in the 1980s, as well as for India and Kenya.

Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist at the World Bank between 1997 and 2000, had serious doubts about the viability of the new doctrine. Although noting at the time that this policy was appropriate for some Latin American countries, it “didn’t make sense to apply it blindly to other countries.”

The late 1990s Asian financial crisis was caused in large part by South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia’s heavy reliance on short-term foreign loans and openness to hot money. When it became apparent in 1997 that private enterprises would not be able to meet their payment obligations, international currency markets panicked and Asian currencies plummeted.

The IMF treated the Asian meltdown like other emergency situations, giving assistance only in exchange for structural adjustment policies. The Fund instructed governments to cut spending, with the result that this deepened the economic slowdown.

In South Korea, for example, a country whose income approaches European levels, unemployment skyrocketed from approximately 3 percent to 10 percent. “IMF suicides” became common among workers who had lost their jobs and dignity.

In Indonesia, the worst-hit country, poverty rates rose from an official level of 11 percent before the crisis to 40 to 60 percent, and GDP declined by 15 percent in one year.

Malaysia stood out as a country that refused IMF assistance and advice. Instead of further opening its economy, Malaysia imposed capital controls, in an effort to eliminate speculative trading in its currency. While the IMF mocked this approach when adopted, the Fund later admitted that it succeeded.

 

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