Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who will benefit from the IMF's $17bn bailout of Ukraine? Not its people | Michael Burke | Comment is free |

In return for the latest $17bn bailout of Ukraine the IMF insists on dramatic measures in five main areas of the economy: a sharp currency devaluation, which will increase the cost of all imported goods, a government-funded bailout for domestic banks, government spending cuts, measures to regulate money laundering and a sharp increase in energy prices.

The latter are particularly ironic, since the widespread story in the west is that it is the Russian oil giant Gazprom that is threatening price hikes. The IMF calls for energy prices to be increased by between 240% and 425% over the next four years. No wonder Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says he will be "the most unpopular prime minister in the history of my country".

Many of the usual arguments are advanced for the terms, such as the emergency need to "stabilise government finances". But on the fund's own admission the implementation of its policies will lead to an increase in Ukraine's public sector deficit in the short term, and the deficit "will decline only gradually thereafter". Preserving the private-sector banks seems to take precedence over the stated objective of improving government finances. The state will be expected to recapitalise the failed private banks using public resources.

Complete story at - Who will benefit from the IMF's $17bn bailout of Ukraine? Not its people | Michael Burke | Comment is free |

CC Photo by Flickr User teacherdudebbq2 Subject is IMF Chaos & Poverty

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