Tag Archive: Christine Lagarde


IMF to revise upwards global growth forecast: Christine Lagarde

AFPJan 7, 2014, 10.34PM IST

(International Monetary…)

…..NAIROBI: The International Monetary Fund will revise upward its global growth forecast in about three weeks, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Tuesday in Nairobi.

“We will be revising upwards the global forecast of the economic growth,” she told a press conference in the Kenyan capital, adding that it would be premature to say any more.

Lagarde, who was wrapping up a two-day visit to Kenya, gave no reason for the revision.

When it issued its latest World Economic Outlook report in October, the IMF lowered its forecasts, saying that global growth “remains in low gear”.

It said it expected the global economy to grow 2.9 percent year-on-year in 2013 and 3.6 percent in 2014. That represented a downward revision of 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively, from its July estimates.

Emerging-market economies, although still accounting for most global growth, were losing more momentum than previously thought, the IMF said in November, although advanced economies, in particular the United States, were showing signs of picking up.

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World Economic Forum chance to ‘push the reset button’ on global economy

The World Economic Forum is an an opportunity to “push the reset button” on the global economy and to seek solutions to fundamental issues, according to the body’s executive chairman. Speaking ahead of the next week’s gathering of world leaders and power brokers in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Klaus Schwab said the world…

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Davos debates income inequality but still invites tax avoiders

The rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum are not as worried as they should be about the gap between rich and poor

World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab

Mind the gap: World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab has warned against the concentration of wealth in too few hands. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Those on the outside might imagine that the business leaders who gather in Davos each year to chew the fat are concerned only about enriching themselves. Critics might imagine that the company bosses, jetting to the World Economic Forum 5,000 feet up in the Swiss Alps in their helicopters, mink-clad trophy wives in tow, are oblivious to the struggles of the poor. But they would be wrong.

As the rich and powerful make their last-minute preparations for their week up the magic mountain, they want the message to be sent out that they understand about inequality. They feel the pain. Truly they do.

The evidence for the “Davos gets it” line comes from the annual risk report compiled by the WEF. It asks 700 of its members what they think will be the most pressing threats to the global economy over the coming decade. Inequality is seen as the most likely risk.

Klaus Schwab, who created the Davos meeting in the 1970s, is pleased about that finding. As a good old-fashioned social democrat, he wants his members to take a history lesson and realise that capitalism cannot survive if income and wealth become concentrated in too few hands. For much of the 20th century, the more far-sighted business leaders realised this. They understood that their workers needed reasonable wages so that they could buy the goods and services they were making. They grasped the idea that a market system in its rawest form was incompatible with democracy and so acquiesced while some of the rough edges were knocked off via progressive taxation, welfare states and curbs on capital. Deep down, they feared that the Russian revolution would provide a template for disaffected workers in the west.

Attitudes have changed in the past 30 years. The so-called Great Compression of incomes seen from the 1930s to the 1970s went into reverse, with the top 1% grabbing the fruits of growth. The rich used their money and their influence to ensure that governments did their bidding. After the Berlin Wall came down, there was no rival model and less need to show restraint. With the arrival of a unipolar world came a return to a more aggressive form of market economics that had not been seen since the early days of industrialisation.

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by Stephen Lendman

Veterans Today

Austerity reflects predatory capitalist harshness. Bankers, other corporate favorites, and super-rich elites are enriched at the expense of most others.

Force-fed policies are destructive. Disadvantaged households are harmed most. Capital’s divine right is prioritized. It profits by cutting wages and eroding social spending en route to eliminating it altogether.

Washington’s fiscal cliff duplicity conceals class war. Bipartisan complicity wants America’s social contract destroyed. By 2023 or sooner, it may no longer exist.

Robbing poor Peter to pay rich Paul is policy. It’s happening across Europe. The worst of times are planned. Banker rights are prioritized over popular ones. They’re on the chopping block for elimination.

OnJanuary 1, The New York Times headlined “Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases.”

It’s hard imaging rubbish this unconscionable gets published. The Times featured it.

Latvia “provide(s) a rare boost to champions of the proposition that pain pays,” said The Times. Hard times continue.

“But in just four years, the country has gone from the (EU’s) worst economic disaster zone to a model of what the (IMF) hails as the healing properties of deep budget cuts.”

IMF policies wage financial war on humanity. They’re hugely destructive. They debt-entrap nations. They impoverish millions. They force-feed structural adjustment harshness. They mandate:

  • privatization of state enterprises; many are sold for a fraction of real worth;
  • mass layoffs;
  • deregulation;
  • deep social spending cuts;
  • wage freezes or cuts;
  • unrestricted free market access for western corporations;
  • corporate-friendly tax cuts;
  • tax increases for working households;
  • trade unionism crushed or marginalized; and
  • harsh repression against opposition to a system incompatible with social democracy, civil and human rights.

Kleptocrats are empowered. Bankers and other corporate predators strip mine countries of material wealth and resources. Crown jewels are sold off at fire sale prices. Poverty, unemployment, hunger and homelessness grow.

People lucky enough to have jobs become serfs. Debt peonage substitutes for freedom. A race to the bottom follows. Force-fed austerity is neo-Malthusaianism writ large.

Its holy trinity mandates no public sphere, unrestrained corporate empowerment, and abolition of social spending. It’s the worst of all economic/financial worlds.

They’re financialized into hollow shell dystopian backwaters.

Bravo, said The Times. After seeing its economy shrink 20% from peak levels, Latvia dead-cat bounced a smidgen. Its exports rose.

“We are here to celebrate,” said IMF head Christine Lagarde. She’s a world class scoundrel. She was Washington’s top choice to run things. Her support for neoliberal harshness won her the job.

Her mandate is austerity harshness, mass impoverishment, neo-serfdom, and extracting wealth for giant banks and other financial favorites. Her background showed she’s up to the challenge.

 

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Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Economic News  –  Global Economy  :  Austerity – Banking – Financial – Rising Costs

Eurozone gives Greece 10-day ultimatum

EUobserver.com
  1. By Valentina Pop

BRUSSELS – Eurozone finance ministers have given Greece 10 days to implement budget cuts in return for a delayed bailout tranche.

  • Merkel and Samaris met in Berlin in August (Photo: primeminister.gov.gr)

“We stressed that before the next disbursement Greece clearly and credibly should demonstrate its commitment to fully implement the programme … by the 18 October at the latest,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the eurozone finance ministers, on Monday (8 October).

He noted that most of the 89 “prior actions” – a list of budget cuts, privatisations, labour market and tax reforms agreed in March – had been agreed upon within the three-party coalition in Athens, but that no money could flow before everything is implemented.

The €31.5 billion tranche of bailout money has been delayed since June, awaiting a report by experts from the “troika” of international lenders – the EUuropean Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) – who are still in Athens trying to figure out how to plug the widening gap in Greek finances.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde, during the same press conference, also said that “more work needs to be done” and that “acting means acting, not just speaking.”

She denied reports that the IMF was at odds with the EU over Greece’s debt sustainability scenario, a projection underlying the €130 billion bailout agreed in March, which assumes that debt-to-GDP will fall to 120 percent by 2020.

“There are no figures yet, the troika has not finalised its report,” Lagarde said.

In a separate report issued Monday, the IMF warned of a possible worsening of the euro-crisis amid “rising social tensions and adjustment fatigue” in the “periphery” – meaning countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain where anti-austerity protests have intensified in recent weeks.

About 8,000 protesters took to the streets of Athens on Monday on the eve of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel shouting “Merkel raus [out]” and “Angela, go home.”

Some 7,000 policemen are to be deployed during her six-hour visit to the Greek capital, with large parts of the city closed to protesters.

Merkel is on her first visit since Greece went bankrupt in 2009 and had to ask for two consecutive bailouts. Her visit is designed to show support for centre-right Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as he struggles to implement further austerity measures.

Blamed for most of Greece’s woes in Greek press, Merkel has softened her stance in recent months.

But her message is likely to be more of the same: no money until the troika says the austerity measures are being implemented properly.

 

 

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