Category: IMF/WTO

Neil Howard: Cotton Subsidies and the Political Economy of Trafficking in Southern Benin

Almost everywhere in the world, ‘poverty’ is said to be the prime ‘root cause’ of human trafficking. Pushing people to migrate, encouraging employers to exploit, in Benin, where I have been researching since 2005, poverty is officially recognized as the underlying factor explaining the emergence of the country’s apparently endemic child trafficking problem.   Yet Read more…

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Esther Vivas: The Whys of Famine

We live in a world of plenty. There is food. So why is one of every seven people in the world going hungry? The food emergency that affects over 10 million people in the Horn of Africa brings to light a disaster that has nothing natural about it. Droughts, floods, and wars serve to exacerbate Read more…

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Rebecca Solnit: Hope: The Care and Feeding Of

Recently, Nelson Mandela turned 93, and his nation celebrated noisily, even attempting to break the world record for the most people simultaneously singing “Happy Birthday.” This was the man who, on trial by the South African government in 1964, stood a good chance of being sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead. Given life Read more…

Zach Zill: What Happens if Greece Defaults?

AS ROCKS fly and tear gas wafts through the streets of Athens, Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou has warned of a coming crackdown on protesters and striking workers [1]. Meanwhile, a new bailout for the banks is being prepared in the halls of power in Europe. Papandreou was able to secure breathing room for the Read more…

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David Graeber: 5,000 Years of Debt

Answering today’s OFF-SET questions is David Graeber, who teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of “Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value,” “Lost People,” and “Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion and Desire.” His new book is entitled “Debt: The First 5,000 Years,” and in it, Graeber indeed examines the historical significance Read more…

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Horace Campbell: Time to Bury the IMF

It was a fitting metaphor as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was arrested on charges of assault, attempted rape and sexual abuse. The charges were brought after Strauss-Kahn allegedly assaulted an African woman from Guinea, who worked as a housekeeper in a hotel in New York City. The image of Read more…

Dick Nichols: Portugal: IMF-EU imposes Austerity, Left Fires Up for Fight

When the 548 delegates to the Seventh National Convention of Portugal’s Left Bloc came together in a vast sports hall in Lisbon over May 7-8, they had two big questions to answer. The first was what alternative should they propose at the June 5 Portuguese elections to the €78 billion (about $103 billion) “rescue package” Read more…

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Greg Palast: Strauss-Kahn Screws Africa

Now that I've dispensed with the obvious and obnoxious teaser headline, let's drop the towel and expose Dominique Strauss-Kahn's history of arrogant abuse. The truth is, the grandee of the IMF has molested Africans for years. On Wednesday, the New York Times ran five – count'em, FIVE – stories on Strauss-Kahn, Director-General of the International Read more…

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Rebecca Solnit: Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite

How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d’Ivoire, a name she had been Read more…

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Paul Krugman: When Austerity Fails

I often complain, with reason, about the state of economic discussion in the United States. And the irresponsibility of certain politicians — like those Republicans claiming that defaulting on U.S. debt would be no big deal — is scary. But at least in America members of the pain caucus, those who claim that raising interest Read more…

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