Most probably the distinguished Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, did not have the opportunity nor the inclination to meet with any of the ordinary denizens of the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, some of whom are on full display plying their unusual and desperate trade in the above video. "Le grande seducteur", as Strauss-Con(!) had been dubbed by the Parisian tabloids endlessly titillated by his numerous sexploits, was busy with consultations on behalf of the IMF with the "Two Elephant"power sharing coalition of president Mwai Kibaki and his former arch-rival and present premier Raila Odinga. Louse- Con(!) was kicking off his third visit to the Mother Continent in just four months. The Two Elephants had engaged in a mutually vitriolic and contentious rivalry in the disputed December 27, 2007 presidential election , followed by an unprecedented outbreak of "tribal violence" which left thousands dead, 350,000 displaced refugees and a national catastrophe of once unimagined proportions in a country which had long held a reputation as an"oasis of peace in a troubled region".
"The spiky-haired protesters in the streets of Seattle believe there’s some kind of grand conspiracy between the corporate powers, the IMF, the World Bank and an alphabet soup of agencies which work to suck the blood of Bolivians and steal the gold from Tanzania. But the tree-huggers are wrong; the details are far more stomach-churning than they imagine. In March 2001, when Ecuador’s government raised the price of domestic gas and hungry Indians burned the capital, I was reading the World Bank’s confidential plan issued months before. The bank, with the IMF, had directed this 60 per cent increase in the price of domestic fuel, predicting coldly this could set the nation alight. It’s as if the riots were scheduled right into the plan. And they were, at least according to one of the only inside sources I can name, Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank. “We called them the IMF riots.” The riots were programmed as well as the response, what the document called “resolve”—the police, the tanks, the crackdown."
As to the four steps to IMF damnation
• Step One is Privatization. In marginalized and impoverished third world countries such as the African continent, the international mobsters employ the time honored methods of any reputable organized criminal organization; extortion, bribery, payoffs and kickbacks to secure the allegiance and loyalty of the political leadership, which in many cases the IMF has helped to install. The result is a massive sell off of public assets and utilities at fire sale prices and lucrative commissions for the corrupt brokers. This kind of gangsterism pales in comparison with the wholesale looting of the Russian economy in the late 90's after the fall of the Soviet Union. Presided over by Stiglitz himself with the able assistance of present Office of Management and Budget head Peter Orszag who was acting as Russian Finance Minister under the aegis of economic hit man vice president Al Gore, Russian industrial, mineral and oil concessions were appropriated by U.S./IMF backed oligarchs who subsequently engaged in an orgy of asset stripping resulting in the crippling of national output by 50%.
•Step Two is Market Liberalization. With any vestiges of protectionism via trade barriers and tariffs effectively removed the market predators go to work on the public assets. Hot money inflows lead to rampant "speculation in real estate and currency". As speculative investment at low rates of interest builds so do prices, as the impoverished majority is marginalized even further. Then the rug is pulled out from under the unwary parties to the scam, the bubble bursts, and capital flees the country with the resultant social unrest and societal breakdown. Interest rates grow astronomically as property values deflate, industrial and infrastructure development cease and " the national treasury is drained."To this is added the infamous and destructive IMF quota, where each country is required by the economic predators to deposit large amounts of "aid money" into the IMF coffers itself at pitiable low rates of interest while the further borrowing of US$ at much higher rates of interest are necessitated for IMF sponsored infrastructure and development projects.
•Step Three is Market Based Pricing which in simple terms represents the elimination of food and fuel subsidies necessitated by the IMF predatory lending policies themselves as the majority of impoverished denizens are pushed further and further below the poverty line. Prices on basic necessities rise.This is, of course, productive of the Stiglitz "IMF riot" mentioned above. The innocuous sounding "Interim Country Assistance Policy" is the document that Palast refers to when he suggests that IMF policy is actually designed to bring about the the expected and resultant social chaos. Palast suggests that this is nothing short of "economic arson", which allows the process of the vicious circle to proceed to the next step- the final appropriation of what little assets remain at prices which are just a step above outright expropriation.
•Step Four is Free Trade. This represents the new frontier of so called "free market capitalism"of the likes of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics. It is also the province of the WTO and World Bank, the sister organizations of the IMF, and the regulatory and fiscal agents of the IMF depredations. Now that the major means of production and public utilities are firmly in IMF hands, the newly established economic institutional parameters represented by the WTO and WB insure the consistent flow of national wealth into the coffers of the western central banks and the US Treasury and IMF. Obama's recent bequest of $100 billion to the IMF is representative of the symbiotic relationship between the two agencies. That these four steps are in the process of being rapidly enacted in the United States itself are symptomatic of the tightening grip which the international cabal has slowly established over the domestic economic policies of the once great nation.