A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 14, 2011
Imposing Misery and Famine (International Monetary Fund or IMF nickname)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was founded in 1944-1945 and seeks to foster international development and sound monetary currencies. Some critics of the IMF maintain that its development loans leave countries forever in its debt ("misery").

The IMF nickname “Imposing Misery and Famine” (also “Institute for Misery and Famine,” “Inflation, Misery and Famine” and “International Misery and Famine") was used in Africa in the 1980s and still has infrequent use. Another IMF “misery” nickname, “International Misery Fund,” has been cited in print since at least 1992.

There are many other IMF nicknames. The IMF nickname “It’s Mostly Fiscal/It’s Mainly Fiscal” has been cited in print since at least 1998. The IMF nickname “International Mother Fuckers” has been cited in print since at least 1997, but probably had spoken use long before this time.  The IMF nickname “International Mafia Federation” has been cited in print since at least 2011.


Wikipedia: International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the intergovernmental organization that oversees the global financial system by following the macroeconomic policies of its member countries, in particular those with an impact on exchange rate and the balance of payments. Its objectives are to stabilize international exchange rates and facilitate development through the encouragement of liberalising economic policies in other countries as a condition of loans, debt relief, and aid. It also offers loans with varying levels of conditionality, mainly to poorer countries. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., United States. The IMF’s relatively high influence in world affairs and development has drawn heavy criticism from some sources.

The International Monetary Fund was conceived in July 1944 originally with 45 members and came into existence in December 1945 when 29 countries signed the agreement, with a goal to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances. The IMF was important when it was first created because it helped the world stabilize the economic system. The IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries. The IMF describes itself as “an organization of 187 countries (as of July 2010), working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty”.

Google Books
Economic and Political Weekly
Volume 22, Part 4
1987
Pg. 1797:
The IMF (Institute for Misery and Famine) obliges third world debtor countries to swallow its ‘stabilisation’ (read contractive) medicine supposedly to reduce their domestic fiscal and foreign payments deficits.

Google Books
Dialogue on Debt:
Alternative Analyses and Solutions

By George Ann Potter
Washington, DC: Center of Concern
1988
Pg. 101:
He claims that IMF policies operate under the assumption that 20-40% of the population of the Third World is disposable. (Fantu—ed.) Cheru says his colleagues in Zambia derisively refer to the IMF as the “Institute for Misery and Famine.”

Google Books
Contours in the 20th Century
By M. Dale Davis
Toronto: Oxford University Press
1989
Pg. 352:
The austerity measures of the IMF, which stressed loan repayment, became the target of protest. Its initials appeared on placards during the antimilitary demonstrations of 1983 representing the IMF as Inflation, Misery, and Famine.

Google Books
Economic Development and World Debt
Edited by H. W. Singer and Soumitra Sharma
Basingstoke: Macmillan
1989
Pg. 37:
The IMF (Institute for Misery and Famine) obliges Third World debtor countries to swallow its ‘stabilisation’ (read contractive) medicine supposedly to reduce their domestic fiscal and foreign payments deficits.

Google Books
World Economy
By Stuart Corbridge
New YorK, NY: Oxford University Press
1993
Pg. 27:
THE IMF—IMPOSING MISERY AND FAMINE?
(...)
In some African countries, IMF is said to stand for “Imposing Misery and Famine”.

Google Books
Political Geography of the Twentieth Century:
A global analysis

Edited by Peter J. Taylor
New York, NY: Halsted Press
1993
Pg. 186:
The IMF became notorious in Africa in the 1980s for ‘Imposing Misery and Famine’ .

Google Books
Reordering the World:
Geopolitical perspectives on the twenty-first century

Edited by George J. Demko and William B. Wood
Boulder, CO: Westview Press
1994
Pg. 296:
The IMF assumed a more visible role in international economic affairs, prompting many in Africa to berate the institution and its structural adjustment policies for “imposing misery and famine.”

Google Books
External Debt:
Brazil and the International Financial Crisis

By Marcos Arruda
Sterling, VA: Pluto Press
2000
Pg. 38:
Brazil and the IMF (International Misery and Famine)

Google Books
Places and Regions in Global Context:
Human Geography

By Paul L. Knox and Sallie A. Marston
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
2001
Pg. 497:
In dark humor, the IMF became known among radical development theorists as imposing misery and famine.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Saturday, May 14, 2011 • Permalink