Sunday, 20 July 2014

BRICS: building a new bank

The BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are brainstorming and in the planning stages of creating a new development bank to rival and gradually replace the IMF and World Bank. The origins of the two famous or infamous depending on which countries have been on the unfair receiving end of the IMF and World Bank's neoliberal and structural adjustment programs and policies. Both banks' history of economic development in the Third World or developing countries are well documented. Both were instrumental in jump starting under performing or stagnant economies through rapid, electroshock like free market trade, debt acquiring loans and services and rushed acceptance of the capitalist system and globalization. The IMF and World Bank were presented by economists, political leaders, culturalists, educators and even the general public as the holy grail of economic development for the developing countries across the Global South. Born from the Bretton Woods system and the meeting that led to its creation, the IMF and World Bank filled the void left by the global colonial economic system's collapse in the aftermath of World War II. Both have served to monitor and keep a lid on unstable economies or any popular alternative economies that can better serve the needs and properly address income inequality that exists to this day across the world. The massive income and wealth gap that had long been a define g future of capitalist economies and societies has grown larger and deeper since the two development banks' arrival. The BRICS are planning and tinkering with the methods and ways an alternative development bank not only meets the current economic challenges in a globalized world but also addresses the socioeconomic challenges of various countries that trade, cooperate and keep close political ties to the BRICS.

A bank of our own

The quest to create an alternative bank in the spirit of non aligned and anti imperialist goals of a financially independent, economy stable and well off Glob South is nothing new. The late Libyan leader Maumar Gaddhafi spoke of creating the central bank of Africa to reached the go of self sufficiency in economic growth and development. Such a bank that not only rivals IMF and World Bank but provides greater financial and economic security has been decades in the making in various forms across the Global South. Late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was laughed at by Western leaders and economics for creating ALBA, an intergovernmental organization geared toward economic self reliance and cooperation across South America. Self sufficient development and independence from Western based and created banks have become a reoccurring topic of discussions and critiques of globalization among the BRICS and other developing countries and in developed countries.

Citizens of various countries, politicians, authors and critics of development policy and theory have questioned the need to reform the IMF and the World Bank to better suit the demands and socioeconomic needs of the emerging market countries. Economical stable African countries ie Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Botswana. China and Brazil have been strengthening and increasing ties with the mentioned countries as well as the larger continent. Brazilians and Portugese diaspora and business professionals are cooly running to Angola the popular destination and other Portuegese speaking African nations. While the 2007 global crisis has devastated and tanked the economies of many Western countries, African and Latin American economies have remind somewhat stable despite the roller coaster growth and shaking monetary policies.

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