Camdessus: "I have a sense of having been associated with great things"

Chris Burford cburford at
Mon Nov 22 23:51:58 PST 1999

At 23:57 22/11/99 -0500, you wrote:
>[From the resignation press conference of IMF managing director
>Michel Camdessus in the November 22 IMF Survey
><>. The
>publication's cover story informs us that "From the beginning of his
>tenure, Camdessus gave a strong emphasis to the social aspects of
>economic adjustment and growth." People will say anything.]

Of course he has to create a narrative about his life. It is not yet clear how aware he is that other narratives may be written by his successor.

(Is there a cigarette paper to placed yet between the likely candidates?)

>I have seen the golden rule of transparency
>emerge as one of the chief features of the new international
>financial architecture.

This "golden rule" would logically require the abolition of the private ownership of the means of production. No secrets! Imagine it.

>It was great to help the Asian crisis countries in the midst of the
>most adverse circumstances.

How very pleasant for him. A pity he was not able to assure the people of Asia that they could enjoy security and pleasure in future.

>Finally, to do what the students in
>Djakarta put on their banners, "Down with corruption, nepotism, and
>collusion" - this is what the IMF was doing, and we are immensely
>proud, the staff and myself, to have been there to do that.

Note he leaves out democracy.

The neo-liberal campaign against corruption is one of the most culturally and even racially arrogant. Although corruption occurs of course in developing countries it also occurs in advanced capitalist countries. It is just called something different.

All societies have conventions about how decisions are made and economic and political resources are handled. For countries in rapid change the conventions may break down more often, but the answer is to handle change more carefully. In fact of course for change to be managed by the people of that culture themselves, and not by economic and cultural imperialists, by patronising saviours like Camdessus.

Chris Burford


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