Argentine IMF experience holds lessons for Ireland

Ireland in December 2010 shows many analogies with Argentina in December 2001, when it was bailed out by the IMF. This phase of negotiations cost Argentina dearly; riots, deaths, banking collapse and frozen accounts (the notorious "Corralito"). The peso was all but destroyed with 75% depreciation and this lead to the largest sovereign default in the history of modern finance.

[This article is part of the BudgetJam series on Politico. Photograph by Hilary Quinn]


Dumbing Down: The IMF and Education

Contrary to the optimistic view circulating in some media circles that the IMF 'bailout' 'will save us,' this piece looks at the kinds of things that happen when institutions like the IMF and its (ugly) sister institution, the World Bank, come in to 'assist' 'cash-strapped' countries.

On Tactics & The City

In London recently I witnessed an evolution in the tactics of demonstrations. For the first time in my life I saw a demonstration tactically out-manoeuvre the police. Anyone who has attended a demonstration in recent years will be familiar with the police tactic of 'kettling' – where the police, using lines of enormous, armed and armoured riot police, herd protestors into a contained area for hours, until eventually they allow individuals to leave, cold, hungry and exhausted, and finally round-up and arrest anyone hardy enough to stay put.

A Global Justice Perspective on the Irish EU-IMF loans: Lessons from the Wider World

The following is taken from Debt and Development Coalition Ireland's publication 'A Global Justice Perspective on the Irish EU-IMF Loans: Lessons From the Wider World'.

This document outlines lessons from the global debt justice movement in responding to debt crises, provides a background to the Irish EU-IMF loans (up to the 28 November 2010 - before the loan documents were made public), and offers some recommendations from DDCI based on these lessons from our work. It also flags up recommendations from other groups.

Irish Penal Reform Trust: Cuts and Crime

In the Irish Penal Reform Trust's Budget Submission 2011 (perhaps "statement" would be better, as "submission" implies there is some sort of deliberative process going on!), we throw another dimension of the current crisis into the mix: the consequences of our budgetary decisions on crime and its associated costs.

The Strange Temporality of Cowen's Back to the Future

There is a strange temporality at play in the government's attempts to comfort its people. In advance of the bailout plan's revelation, people repeatedly suggested that they were worried about the future, about what the plan would actually mean on a day-to-day basis. Fianna Fáil sought to give confidence by spinning the entire mess 'in the best of all possible lights'. However, the manner of this spin is remarkable because of its bare-faced nature.

Another society is not only possible - it is necessary

Here is an open letter in response to the Claiming Our Future event that was held in the RDS on 30 October. It was sent to us by Mark Malone and put together by students on the Community Education, Equality and Social Activism MA programme in NUIM.

(Mis)educating our nation’s youth

Have you ever wondered why complex political-economic ideologies and policies, such as neo-liberalism, which present gross economic and social and inequalities as inevitable, necessary or even desirable can be so palatable to so many, such that those on the left are so readily cast and perceived as ‘loonies’? The following nuggets of wisdom, which ‘explain’ global inequalities, ‘underdevelopment’ and poverty, are taken from second-level textbooks currently being used in an Irish context.

Other people's pain

Our politicians and our media are never so noble as when they're talking about other people's pain.

Every time we hear a minister, an economist or a journalist talking about the economic catastrophe, we hear them talk about the pain to be suffered by the tax-payer. We should listen carefully to the language they use, because language has a way of turning things into reality.

Human rights and ‘Sharing the Pain’

Amidst all the current mainstream rhetoric about sharing the burden of our 
economic crisis, there’s been a striking lack of discussion about the 
limits of the pain that can be offloaded on the worst-off. Ireland’s
 obligations under international human rights law are very relevant here,
 but seem to be missing in action at the moment. What follows are a few 
suitably po-faced and technical legal points: read at your own risk!