Monday, February 17, 2014

Out of the way, stupid

I see that Judith Sloan, whose living now seems to comprise of:

a.  putting a veneer of polite reason on her right wing economic and political views when writing in the Australian and appearing on ABC TV, while

b. mouthing off at a blog that everyone who disagrees with her is pretty much a socialist idiot

wrote over the weekend in reference to Christine Lagarde (head of the IMF):
Honestly.  Surely the times of insisting that the IMF top job goes to some European socialist should end? 
Now I don't follow European politics closely, but as far as I can tell, Lagarde, a former conservative politician, is a socialist in Sloan's eyes because she takes climate change, and its future effects on economies, seriously. 

Yet she faced criticism in The Guardian for doing things of which one would think Sloan would approve:
It is, indeed, astonishing that one the major architects of the punitive and ineffective bailouts in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, should now found herself at the helm of the IMF. The European Union has proved incapable of designing a proper anti-crisis policy for the eurozone. Both the US administration and the IMF had to intervene to prompt a Franco-German led eurozone to take steps to prevent an impending catastrophe. In May 2010, the EU eventually launched the €700bn Financial Stability Mechanism. Not only did the funds prove insufficient to reach their stabilising objective, but a lack of leadership was also blatantly exposed. While Germany urged more austerity measures on Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Christine Lagarde warned Greece that it was at risk of default if "it didn't do more to bring its public finances into order". No doubt that the quasi-bankrupt Greek government will have found it helpful.

First, Lagarde sided with the European Central Bank in opposing any form of restructuring of the Greek debt. Then, she softened her stance and agreed to a new bailout along the same austerity lines that made the previous bailout fail. In true neoliberal fashion, the candidate to the IMF directorship supported the idea that Greece should privatise state assets, to be sold to Chinese buyers. These failed policies have inflicted nothing but unnecessary suffering on European peoples, and have largely contributed to boosting a resurgent far right across Europe. Lagarde was one of their main instigators.
 And I also note it was the Socialists in France who got her into a bit of legal trouble regarding a claimed financial scandal. 

Funny old socialist she is, then.

But apart from Lagarde believing in that well known socialist conspiracy, climate change;  Sloan probably finds outrageously outrageous Lagarde's recent comments on inequality:
“Business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum should remember that in far too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people. This is not a recipe for stability and sustainability,” she told the Financial Times. 

We'll have to see what other things come from Sloan World in the next few months.

1 comment:

nottrampis said...

another example of what happens when you use too much peroxide!