2012 World debt figures

6 December 2012

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To facilitate our understanding of the complexity of the current crisis, Damien Millet, Eric Toussaint, and Daniel Munevar (CADTM) present a range of statistics on the debt and its repercussions.

The economic, financial, debt, and food crises, and how they are interconnected, become clear on reading the tables and graphics that illustrate this brochure.

Starting with an analysis of the 1982 debt crisis in the South right up to
the current European crisis, via odious debt round the globe, and IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

and World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

figures, the real issues are identified.

The authors take a critical look at the world economy and the mechanics of domination that are at play. They shine the spotlights on the real figures of a vacillating world.

Inequalities are blatant everywhere, and continue to develop. The 2012 debt figures speak for themselves, and show how necessary and urgent it is to radically change the system.

It is in the light of this understanding that a horizon of collective resistance may develop, in which the excluded, wherever they are, will become conscious that their sufferings all originate from the same evils, mechanisms, and culprits, and they will identify with the same struggle for solidarity, as the 99%.

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Other publications in english :

  • History of the CADTM Anti-Debt Policies
    14 June 2017 - Eric Toussaint, Benjamin Lemoine
  • Bankocracy
    30 October 2015 - Eric Toussaint
  • Preliminary Report of the Truth Committee on Public Debt
    18 June 2015 - Truth Committee on the Greek Public Debt
  • World Debt Figures 2015
    31 March 2015 - Eric Toussaint, Daniel Munevar, Pierre Gottiniaux, Antonio Sanabria
  • Citizen Public Debt Audit - Experiences and methods
    5 March 2015 - Maria Lucia Fattorelli



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