Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Monetary Evils | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ever since terrorist attacks occurred across the Arab world, individuals have been trying to pinpoint the reasons behind them and discover the perpetrators. In most cases, accusations were leveled at the Muslim Brotherhood. The same thorough investigation should be carried out so as to identify the parties responsible for the catastrophes and financial crises that have befallen many parts of the globe and especially in the developing world, in places such as south East Asia , Latin America and the Arab world. Two key players in these crises are the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as it appears that many officials responsible for finances and the economy in the badly affected countries were loyal to the above two institutions.

In a seminal book entitled “Masters of Illusion: The World Bank and the Poverty of Nations”, Catherine Caufield revealed that both institutions sought to issue laws and regulations to benefit banks and encouraged countries to borrow from the financial institutions. She also disclosed that this method would weaken countries’ financial structures and the centralization of financial decisions.

The book also exposed the lack of transparency and accountability and showed how favoritism and special relations were widespread in financial circles, to the extent that family members and friends were appointed to the most important administrative and financial posts.

It was impossible to ignore the World Banks’ culture, ideology, and its destructive impact on developing countries, in addition to the networks it generated. The series of horrific failures brought about by the World Bank, across the world, compel us to critically review its approach and re-examine its claims, which used to be promoted as science and definite economic foundations. Across the globe, several countries and institutions decided to achieve independence and shun the World Bank’s ideological and administrative control. This has resulted in tangible successes, exemplified by the Malaysian triumph. The Arab world has been plagued by financial problems because its administrative and financial officials follow the World Bank’s ideology and culture. As a result, they have brought about a harmful financial climate that will lead to additional crises. These officials are amongst us so be forewarned.