…in world finance?
It’s a sign of the times that we’ve entered a new world order when the Breton Woods institutions – the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – are commemorating their 75th anniversary and none of the political parties – even the newbies – have uttered a squeak. Formed in 1944 when WWII wasn’t even over, the two institutions were meant to facilitate the new world order reflecting the ground reality: the US was now the most dominant nation on earth, with its economy exceeding the combined wealth of all the other developed countries.
The sun had set at last on the Britain Empire and the WB and the IMF would ensure that (US) money would “talk” and the rest of the world’s BS would “walk”!! The WB – actually the “World Bank for Reconstruction” – was supposed to fund the (duh!) reconstruction of the war-devastated countries – with the money spent in the US, of course! Later, it was to provide funding for “development” projects in the newly independent countries created from the detritus of a British and French Empires. With the same caveat! The IMF was to ensure the exchange rates for the various national currencies remained stable. How else would the US ensure it was getting back the monies “lent”??
And, of course, this is where Guyana – granted independence in 1966 – came into the picture. When Burnham decided he’d build that Mazaruni Hydro Electric Power plant, who else would he turn to but the WB? Hadn’t they just funded that massive one in Ghana? The WB, of course, balked – supposedly upon the protest of Venezuela. But one has to ask if there weren’t wheels within wheels turning since Burnham had just nationalized US bauxite and was planning to use the power to run a smelter to produce aluminium!
By the late seventies, Burnham and his half-baked utopian schemes of state capitalism combined with cooperative socialism – not to mention racism – had bankrupted the country. Who could he turn to?? The IMF, that’s who!! But after they firmly rejected him after he didn’t accept their “conditionalities”, he described them as “International Mother F***ers! Why would they bail him out when he was yanking the US tiger’s tail by allowing Cuba to send troops to Africa.
Fast forward to 1989 when Hoyte’s decided enough was enough and accepted the IMF’s ministrations. Our economy was shoehorned into the “Washington Consensus” straitjacket of “liberalization, privatization and stabilization”.
But with WB and IMF losing their teeth and the Chinese creating alternatives with their B& R initiative, you’d think we’d have some buzz on the hustings, wouldn’t you??
As a new oil economy don’t we want to be part of the brave new world?
…of constitutional engineering
Fossil fuels are now considered bad for our environment. But we use them in the vehicles that move us around!! What to do?? Well, we can engineer our car engines to use fuels that aren’t so polluting – like DDL just did with natural gas, or Brazil does with 10% alcohol. Similarly, if you want enter your car in a race, you would have to engineer a turbo booster?
Well, as your Eyewitness has been pointing out, lots of parties, especially the newbies insist that to govern our country more efficiently and effectively, we need “constitutional change”. But your Eyewitness disagrees, what we need is “constitutional engineering”. The parties should state specifically what are the objectives they seek to achieve, and then design institutions (incorporated in the constitution) that would deliver these objectives.
For instance, exactly what change would they engineer to make the PNC and PPP “share power”??
We can then decide whether they’re just bloviating anodyne banalities!!
…of odious debt
Does the international community realise there’s such a thing as “odious debt”? That the moneys they’re lending the PNC government while they’re in their present illegitimate state, imposes no obligation on the new govt to repay them??