Fwd: IMF & Gold sales

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Thu Apr 15 09:11:05 PDT 1999

[More from 50 Years Is Enough, even if they don't meet Chris Burford's test of militancy.]

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 10:45:41 -0400 From: Njoki Njoroge Njehu <wb50years at igc.org> Mime-Version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk Sender: owner-50-years at igc.apc.org Subject: IMF & Gold sales To: 50-years at igc.org X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by igce.igc.org id HAA25250 X-Sender: wb50years at pop2.igc.org

50 Years Is Enough Activists/Friends,

Under the guise of providing debt relief, the IMF is asking permission from it stockholder countries to sell a portion of its gold stocks. The majority of that money would actually go not to debt relief, but to allow the IMF's ESAF fund to become self- sustaining. This would put the IMF permanently in the development arena and remove this program from Congressional oversight that comes with periodic authorization.

Last month, at a HIPC "consultation" in Washington, the IMF one of the IMF representative stated that they "would not agree" to gold sales for HIPC (debt relief linked to SAPs) without $$ for ESAF.

We are watching this one very closely. Here is a story from the Guardian in London which seems to indicate that an agreement has been reached on gold sales.

In Solidarity,


Thursday, April 15, 1999

THE GUARDIAN: Gold sales/ Jubilee 2000: A five-year campaign to sell off a chunk of the IMF's huge stockpile of gold to fund debt relief for the world's poorest countries was on the verge of a breakthrough last night when an IMF official signalled that agreement had been reached. Up to 5 per cent of the IMF's stockpile of gold could be disposed of on the world market to finance a rolling programme of debt relief for the poorest most indebted countries. IMF deputy managing director Alassane Ouattara said that a large majority of its member countries were headed towards an agreement and that "the debate was not about if but how much gold to sell." A decision could be taken on April 27th during the spring meeting of the IMF in Washington. He said that the wider move towards debt relief had to be ambitious, and that it would require sacrifices form rich countries as well as reform from the poor ones. "Debt is a burden and I know this from personal experience when I was prime minister of Cote d'Ivoire and I had to spend almost 50 per cent of the budget on debt service." Andrew Simms of Christian Aid commented that: "It is good that the Fund is going to make that resources available, but it is still the case that they have to ease up on the onerous conditions set to qualify for debt relief."

Economist Alex Brummer comments that the IMF reluctantly agreeing to fund its share of debt relief through gold sales will not in itself necessarily speed debt relief. The IMF has complicated the issue of debt relief by aligning its structural adjustment operations in African and other poor countries with the debt relief programme, and IMF staff are known to oppose any proposed reduction of the time frame for debt relief from six to three years.


Njoki Njoroge Njehû Director 50 Years Is Enough Network 1247 E Street, SE Washington, DC 20003 Phone: 202/IMF-BANK or 202/544-9355 Fax: 202/544-9359 Email: wb50years at igc.org Webpage: http://www.50years.org

It is better to protest than to accept injustice.

- Rosa Parks

Activist, Fighter for Freedom

Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you're on; class analysis is knowing who is there with you.

----from a poster, source unknown

The master's tools will never destroy the master's house.

- Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list