Debt, gold and the IMF windfall

On 6 April 2011 the International Monetary Fund is meeting in Washington DC to discuss for the first time how to spend a $3 billion windfall from selling gold and lending more money since the financial crisis.

There are some quite different options on the table – from playing the stock market to funding a new wave of debt cancellation for impoverished countries. The Jubilee Debt Campaign (www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/), to which Ekklesia is affiliated, has joined with 58 organisations around the world to demand the IMF spends this windfall on debt cancellation.

The financial crisis has been a blessing for the International Monetary Fund. By 2007 its years of forcing free market economic policy conditions on developing countries had meant many countries were reluctant to borrow from the IMF at all. The governments that run the international institution decided to sell 400 tonnes of IMF gold, and invest the proceeds to get new income.

The gold has just finished being sold, and with prices reaching record highs, the IMF has made nearly $3 billion more than it expected. At the same time, it is also set to make $500 million ‘profit’ from the massive increase in lending sanctioned at the G20 London summit in 2009. Despite cheerleading financial deregulation, the IMF has cashed in on the crisis it helped to create. Meanwhile, developing countries are still seeing debts increase.

In two weeks time the IMF will hold its spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA, when members will discuss the windfall for the second time. This is one of the major moments in the year when the world’s attention is on the IMF and the global economy.

We want to make sure the IMF comes under pressure to use its financial crisis profits to help developing countries withstand the crisis. Our partners in Jubilee USA will be handing in the global petition at the Spring Meetings on 16-17 April.

See: Common Position Statement: IMF Gold Sales for Debt Cancellation, April 2011- http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/imfgoldstatement

Sign the global petition here: http://tinyurl.com/6976gbb

-------

© Tim Jones works with the Jubilee Debt Campaign.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.