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 “International Misery Fund” has been cited in print since at least 1992, when it was used by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. FMI (Fond Monétaire International) is the IMF’s French name. Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide called the FMI “Fonds des Malfaiteurs Internationaux” (Funds of International Criminals) and “Front de Misere Internationale” (Front for International Misery). Another IMF “misery” nickname, “Imposing Misery and Famine,” has been cited in print since the 1980s.
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”.
New York (NY) Times
Point Man for the Rescue of the Century
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: April 26, 1992
Michel Camdessus, the head of the International Monetary Fund, visibly winces when he is confronted with some of the harshest criticisms of the fund’s attempts to help hard-pressed developing nations by lending money and prescribing economic reforms.
But the epithet of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is the most succinct—and cutting—of all. He called the I.M.F. the “International Misery Fund.”
6 July 1992, Washington (DC) Times “Miseries that await the G-7 gathering”:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has referred to it as the “International Misery Fund.”
Google Groups: soc.culture.haiti
Subject: The World Bank and IMF in Africa and in Haiti
The International Monetary Fund is abbreviated FMI in French, and in Haiti is considered to stand for “Fond Misere Internationale”, the International Misery Fund.
30 April 2001, Washington (DC) Times:
International misery fund
It’s a shame the protesters who targeted the trade-orientated Summit of the Americas in Quebec didn’t turn their sights instead on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) spring meeting, which this week is bringing together finance ministers and central bankers from around the globe.
Haiti’s Predatory Republic:
The Unending Transition to Democracy
By Robert Fatton
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers
Aristede used the French acronym FMI to call the IMF “Fonds des Malfaiteurs Internationaux” (Funds of International Criminals) and “Front de Misere Internationale” (Front for International Misery).
Global Economic Institutions
By Willem Molle
New York, NY: Routledge
This has led to many critics naming the IMF as ‘International Misery Fund’. Others prefer the name ‘It’s My Fault’; putting the accent on the fact that the IMF by prescribing in a number of cases the wrong therapy should be blamed for that and should actually waive the loans that it has given in these cases. As things now stand the poor LDC has eventually to pay for the errors of the arrogant staff of the Fund (Raffner, 2002).
International Development Governance
Edited by Ahmed Shafiqul Huque and Habib Mohammad Zafarullah
The IMF handling of financial crises has lost credibility even in Washington and on Wall Street (eg, Soros, 1998). Its reputation is now that of a “Master of Disaster” (Cassidy, 2002) and in Argentina it is the International Misery Fund.
The Prophet and Power:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the international community, and Haiti
By Alex Dupuy
Toronto: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
President Aristede, who had once denounced the IMF as the ”Front de Misère Internationale“ (International Misery Front), tried to put the best face on the agreement.
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