A massive, coordinated international campaign against Bechtel forced it to accept 30 cents as its settlement. Corporate support disguised as "development" Less blatant, though more insidious and pervasive, are the pro-corporate policy prescriptions that accompany Bank financing for so called "development" projects and programmes through the IBRD and International Development Association IDA.
Especially notorious are Bank-Fund designed economic reform packages which seek to establish small, efficient and corporate friendly governments to rule over corporate friendly capitalist economies. Once called Structural Adjustment Programmes SAPs and then renamed "poverty reduction strategies," these reform packages are designed to open up the markets and economies of borrowing countries to foreign investors through trade and investment liberalisation, privatisation of public utilities, state marketing boards and state enterprises, and financial deregulation.
Reforms also demand that cross subsidies for the poor, and protections for workers and domestic producers and enterprises be eliminated, and publicly financed social programmes—including those in health, education, water and sanitation-be drastically cut back. By insisting that borrowing countries shrink labour and environmental regulations and establish corporate friendly taxation and property regimes, the Bank virtually assures private investors a free ride at the cost of local communities, workers and environments. Regardless of the problem or sector water, electricity, agricultural marketing, health, education, etc.
Privatisation includes a range of measures: from unbundling or breaking up operations in a public enterprise and outsourcing or contracting out the unbundled operations to eventual sale of the public enterprise either whole or in part. Included in the package are contracts for privately provided, high-end "technical assistance" and procurement of ancillary goods and services.
Why the News Is Not the Truth
Although the Bank insists that procurement and contracting are the responsibilities of the implementing agency [v] usually a government department , privatised assets, and construction, consultancy and procurement contracts generally go to large corporations, contractors and consulting firms that are well versed with Bank rules for bidding and procurement. During this time, the Bank also entered into business partnerships with nearly all leading pesticide and biotechnology companies through a staff exchange programme that involved corporations, governments, universities and international agencies.
Bank officials placed in Novartis and Rhone Poulenc Agro now part of Bayer in the late s assisted them with biotechnology regulatory issues and rural development partnerships. The Bank thus adjusted its agricultural strategies to satisfy leading biotechnology and agrochemical corporations which in turn gained access to public policy making in developing countries via Bank sponsorship. In large hydro-power projects for example, the Bank routinely assists host governments and private contractors in project preparation and mobilising project finance: it hires private consulting firms to work alongside government departments to design the project and implementing arrangements, mobilises project financing through the IFC and underwrites the loans through MIGA or other partnering risk guarantors.
The costs of environmental and social mitigation are left to government and society, and the terms of project financing and guarantees generally favour private companies over the larger public interest. The Bank is proud of its support for corporations and private investors, as expressed on the MIGA website: "Our presence in a potential investment can literally transform a "no-go" into a "go.
And even if disputes do arise, our leverage with host governments frequently enables us to resolve differences to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. It has used its position as preferred creditor and aid coordinator in developing countries to create opportunities for private corporations, contractors and consultants to profit from structural needs and crises in developing countries.
Clearly, dismantling corporate power over our public goods, services and commons will also require dismantling the World Bank. Information about all 5 institutions can be found in the World Bank website: www.
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Brian Tokar. Green Tide. Z Magazine online, April , Volume 17, Number 4. August Skip to main content.
Coal Fear is no smoke screen
Shalmali Guttal. Clasificado en Clasificado en:. What's New. Justice for Lula. The heart of trade warfare: The technological race and transition. Oscar Ugarteche, Armando Negrete. Sarah E.
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Why Choose US?
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