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World Bank

"We act as a potent deterrent against government actions that may adversely affect investments."- World Bank website

The World Bank in the Hot Seat Over Land Grabbing

Dangerous initiative by the World Bank to control land grabbing

"The bookkeeper's trick of creating money out of thin air, charging interest for its use, then forcing it down the throats of weaker nations by threat of violence, is what has allowed the soulless international money changers, since the founding of the Bank of England in 1694, gradually to conquer the world. The money monopoly translates into a monopoly on violence on an ascending scale." - Richard C. Cook

"The must be given credit for having invented and successfully marketed the concept of 'structural adjustment,' a concept that packaged together microeconomic and macroeconomic reforms. Structural adjustment was sold as the process that countries needed to undergo in order to save their economies from the crisis. For governments that bought into the package, the distinction between sound macroeconomic policies that maintain external balance and stable prices, on the one hand, and policies that determine openness [like free trade], on the other, was obfuscated." - Dani Rodrik, Harvard economist

"The World Bank is increasing its financing of fossil-fuel projects worldwide. One example is the coal-powered Tata Ultra Mega power plant in western India, a $4.14 billion project scheduled to go online in 2012. When it is fully operational, it will become one of the world's 50 largest greenhouse-gas emitters and "will emit more carbon dioxide annually than the nation of Tunisia," according to the US Department of Energy. The World Bank will provide "$450 million in loans and guarantees for the project and also may buy a $50 million stake in it." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 24, 2008

"The World Bank is simply not slowing down its significant funding to fossil-fuel projects that will emit greenhouse gases for 20 to 40 years." - Heike Mainhardt-Gibbsof

1944 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are devised at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

1980s "Chicago School believers tend to portray the mid-eighties onward as a smooth and triumphant victory march for their ideology: at the same time that countries were joining the democratic wave, they had the collective epiphany that free people and unfettered free markets go hand in hand. That epiphany was always fictional. What actually happened is that just as citizens were finally winning their long-denied freedoms, escaping the shock of the torture chambers under the likes of the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos and Uruguay's Juan Maria Bordaberry, they were hit with a perfect storm of financial shocks - debt shocks, price shocks and currency shocks - created by the increasingly volatile, deregulated global economy." - Naomi Klein

1993 When the Russian Parliament rejects structural adjustment Boris Yeltsin unilaterally dissolved parliament and launched a military assault on Parliament that kills 500 people and injures over a thousand more.

Boris Yeltsin would have become a successful dictator had the World Bank and International Monetary Fund just kept its side of the bargain by allowing the structural adjustment to be implemented over time and had not failed to remit the aid of $15 to $30 billion that Jeffery Sachs claimed was necessary to secure the Russian state's economic future.

"While Jeffery Sachs saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as a liberation from authoritarian rule and was ready to roll up his sleeves and start helping, his Chicago School colleagues saw it as a freedom of a different sort - as the final liberation from Keynesianism and the do-gooder ideas of men like Jeffrey Sachs. Seen in that light, the do-nothing attitude that so infuriated Jeffery Sachs when it came to Russia was not "sheer laziness" but laissez-faire in action: let it go, do nothing. By not lifting a finger to help, all the men charged with Russian policy - from Richard Bruce Cheney, as defense secretary to George Herbert Walker Bush , to Larry Summers, Treasury undersecretary, to Stanley Fischer at the International Monetary Fund - were indeed doing something: they were practicing pure Chicago School ideology, letting the market do its worst. Russia was what Friedian ideology looked like in practice, a foreshadowing of the get-rich-or-die-trying dystopia that many of these same players would create a decade later in Iraq." - Naomi Klein

1994 Boris Yeltsin starts a war in Chechnya.

Harvard economics professor Andrei Scleifer and his deputy Jonathan Hay help the Russian oligarches design the "new economy."

The "Oligarches" gain control of the Russian economy as industries are sold off for a fraction of their value.

Norlisk Nickle, fifth largest producer of nickle in the world, is sold for $170 million - profits reach 1.5 billion annually by 2006.

Yokos, which controls more oil than Kuwait, is sold for $309 million.

A 51% stake in Sidanko, worth $2.8 billion in 2007 is sold for $130 million.

A huge weapons factory was sold for $3 million to - Viktor Bout perhaps?

Harvard ends up paying a settlement of $26.5 million, Andrei Scleifer agrees to pay $2 million and Jonathan Hay agrees to pay $1 million after a seven year court battle found that Harvard had breached its contract with the US as Andrei Scleifer, Jonathan Hay and Hay's wife each had personally profited from their "economic design.

1998 "Like most of Russia's nouveau riche, [Vladimir] Goussinsky, a 45-year-old former theatrical director, made his money quickly and mysteriously. From a modest start in 1986 with a small company specializing in metal works, he expanded his holdings to include a bank and, later, a financial-industrial group called Most. Experts credit much of Goussinsky's meteoric financial rise to his close ties with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov - and when it appeared possible that Communist Party candidate Gennadi Zyuganov would defeat Yeltsin in the 1996 presidential election, Goussinsky and six other key financiers banded together to fund Yeltsin's victorious re-election campaign. But Goussinsky is more than just one of Russia's wealthiest men. As the president of the Russian Jewish Congress, he is the public figurehead of Russian Jewry and the leading Russian sponsor of Jewish communal projects." - Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, August 21, 1998


World Bank grants Armenia $30 million to upgrade the water supply in its capital city of Yerevan, provided that it hand over the public water utility to a transnational corporation. Despite massive subsidies, the private operator fails to improve basic water delivery in Yerevan.

A parliamentary investigation discovered that through a series of crooked deals the corporation misappropriated an estimated $35 million from the Armenian people and amassed over $50 million in debt. Today, water flows from the tap only a few hours a day, and residents live in fear of outbreaks of water contamination.

The World Bank refuses to recognize the corruption, and instead continues to insist that the project - and the private contractor - surpassed all expectations.
"This case raises difficult questions about the legitimacy of development projects all over the world where so-called 'public-private partnerships' are involved, The World Bank's complicity in corruption calls the whole of the Bank's water lending into disrepute." - Patti Lynn

1999 "Only a blitzkrieg approach during the 'window of opportunity' provided by the 'fog of transition' would get the changes made before the population had a chance to organize to protect its previous vested interests." - Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist at the World Bank.

Boris Yeltsin was played as the fool, promised structural adjustment occurred without any cushions. Corporate boards of directors gleefully rejoiced that the juggernaut of communism had finally been conquered.

A handful of international corporations, led by Vivendi Universal and Suez, have aggressively taken over the management of public water services in countries around the world, dramatically raising the price of water to local residents.

In 2001 the water services industry made a trillion dollars in profits.

.2000 More than 100,000 people in Kwazulu-Natal province, South Africa became ill with cholera after water and sanitation services to local communities are cut off for nonpayment.

The World Trade Organization now prohibits the use of export controls for any purpose. Quotas or bans on the export of water imposed for environmental reasons will be challenged as a form of protectionism.
2005 Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, a former steering committee member of the Bilderberg group, ascends to World Bank CEO.

2007 Paul Dundes Wolfowitz resigns on May 17.
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