Time: Thu Dec 04 05:13:47 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: PJB-No More Bailouts--Abolish the IMF! (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>by Patrick J. Buchanan
>                 December 1, 1997
>If the people of South Korea were starving, Americans would send food. If 
>they were victims of a natural disaster, an earthquake or typhoon, 
>planeloads of American doctors and nurses, shiploads of medicine and 
>supplies, would be instantly on the way.
>But Asia's financial crisis is not a natural disaster; it is man-made, 
>the work of corrupt and incompetent political elites, crony capitalists 
>and idiot-investors who deserted their own countries to chase hot profits 
>in Asia. Obligations of charity do not apply here. What these avaricious 
>bankrupts want Americans to do is to pick up the hotel and bar bills from 
>their decade-long orgy. No thanks.
>Ask yourself: Why does Seoul suddenly need $20 billion? Is it because 
>Koreans are suffering? No. South Korea needs $20 billion pronto because 
>it has $20 billion in short-term loans coming due by year's end. Korea 
>hasn't got the cash, and its creditors are howling.
>The IMF bailouts of Korea, Thailand and Indonesia, which could put 
>Western taxpayers on the hook for $100 billion, are to save the faces of 
>these Asian regimes and the fannies of "investors" who want back every 
>dime they put up -- without missing a payment. When you know who is 
>holding that $20 billion in debt, you will know for whose benefit the 
>Global Economy is designed to work.
>But why should U.S. taxpayers be put on the hook by the IMF, to make good 
>failed Asian investments? Let those who made the hot profits in Asia eat 
>the losses. Let the market work. Let the Asian debtors and their 
>creditors negotiate themselves the terms of repayment, and keep U.S. 
>taxpayers out for once.
>The hour is at hand for Congress to run a sword through this corrupt 
>global system. All we need do is follow the counsel of ex-Treasury 
>Secretary Bill Simon, the Heritage Foundation, and the American 
>Enterprise Institute, and kill the IMF. Then the gods of the markets can 
>rule again. Don't our free traders believe in that?
>This November, in a courageous act, the House voted down Mr. Clinton's 
>request for $3.5 billion to replenish the funds of the IMF. Prediction: 
>Mr. Clinton will come back from Vancouver Asia-Pacific summit and demand 
>even more money to bail out Robert Rubin's Wall Street buddies. But if 
>Congress will hold firm and deny the White House another dime for the 
>IMF, it can strike a mortal blow against a system crafted to endlessly 
>loot the American nation of its wealth.
>What is the IMF? It was created At Bretton Woods in 1944 as a fund from 
>which governments could borrow to maintain the fixed rates of exchange of 
>their currencies. But in 1971, Richard Nixon took America off the gold 
>standard; the exchange-rate system broke down; the dollar and other 
>currencies were allowed to "float" in a free market. The need for an IMF 
>was over.
>But the IMF refused to fold its tent. It set itself up as overseer of the 
>Global Economy and lender of last resort to bankrupt regimes. Four times 
>since 1970 the IMF has bailed out Mexico. In the last bailout, the IMF 
>gave $17 billion in fresh loans to enable President Zedillo to pay off 
>his New York creditors, who thus walked away from their risky loans, 
>while American citizens are now exposed to the lion's share of that $17 
>How is Mexico to repay the IMF? The devaluation of the peso by 50 percent 
>doubled the price of U.S. goods in Mexico and cut by 50 percent the price 
>of Mexican exports. Devaluation thus wiped out the tiny U.S. trade 
>surplus. And when U.S. companies saw the price of Mexican labor had been 
>cut in half in dollars, they laid off their workers, shut down their U.S. 
>plants and headed south for the Rio Grande.
>This, then, is the great trade-off of the Global Economy: Wall Street 
>gets reimbursed, while Main Street loses its export market, its factories 
>and its jobs, and is put on the hook by the IMF, so "investors" on Wall 
>Street do not have to swallow really big losses. We do it all -- to make 
>the world safe for Goldman Sachs!
>The Global Economy is like a high-stakes poker game, where the big 
>players pocket their winnings, while the "house" -- i.e., the taxpayers 
>-- makes good their losses at the end of a bad night.
>To do in Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea what it did in Mexico, the 
>IMF will need billions more in lending authority from the U.S. 
>government. We ought not let this happen. The looting of our country must 
>stop. And it can be stopped, if the agencies that thieve and redistribute 
>U.S. wealth -- the IMF and World Bank -- are denied all power to put at 
>risk the credit of the American people.
>Time for Congress to end these bailouts, privatize the World Bank and 
>abolish the IMF. 
>c Patrick J. Buchanan

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