IMF & World Bank
The World Bank Group works in every major area of development. We provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and we help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.
The IMF provides policy advice and financing to members in economic difficulties and also works with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
Ever since their inception, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been accused of being a tool of their major shareholders, and especially the US. Woods (2003) clearly documents that the US virtually controls major decisions at IMF and World Bank; Fratianni and Pattison (2003) summarize evidence showing that the G7 are in full control of the IMF on the big issues and that staff autonomy is restricted to areas which are of marginal interest to its shareholders. In the words of Rieffel (2003: 28-29), “The IMF is an instrument of the G-7 countries.
In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world's transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.
Mobutu Sese Seko at the United Nations
From 1970 to 2003, over three trillion dollars — $3,000,000,000,000 — were loaned to developing countries by the West. Yet the gap between rich and poor is worse than ever. What happened? Where did all that money go?
Michael Hudson's in-depth and highly controversial study of U.S. financial diplomacy explores the faults built into the core of the World Bank and the IMF at their inception which -- he argues -- were intended to preserve the US's financial hegemony. Difficult to detect at the time, these problems have since become explicit as the failure of the international economic system has become apparent; the IMF and World Bank were set up to give aid to developing countries, but instead many of the world's poorest countries have been plunged into insurmountable debt crises.