Well, we have our first conclusions of Bilderberg 2007. Robert Zoellick and the World Bank nomination
The US delegation is standing unanimously behind Robert Zoellick´s candidacy as the next President of the World Bank. Zoellick is a 53 year old Wall Street executive, former administration official and a free-market fundamentalist. During the meeting he pledged “to work to restore confidence in the bank.”
“We need to put our differences aside and focus on the future together. I believe that the World Bank’s best days are still to come,” Zoellick said.
The chances of Zoellick not being approved for the chair of World Bank Presidency are slim to none. The final decision is to be made by the end of June by the bank’s 24-member board of directors.
The United States and Europe have a tacit agreement between them that the bank’s president should always be a US national while its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, is headed by a European.
Nevertheless, according to our sources at the conference, European Bilderbergers are not at all pleased with continuing the status quo, in which the US nominates a single candidate after informal consultations with bank members.
The nomination also appears to short-circuit burgeoning calls for reform of this selection process at the bank, one of the cornerstones of the global financial architecture as designed by the victors of World War II.
One Belgian Bilderberger proposed “a merit-based selection process, without regard to nationality,” something which will obviously be discarded by the inept Bush administration. What is rather quite remarkable is that on several occasions European Bilderbergers have openly rejected the current model saying “the nomination reeks of double standards,” especially because both the US and the World Bank preach accountability and transparency to developing countries, the main clients of the bank.
But with IMF under the control of a Spaniard, Rodrigo Rato, European central bank, a Frenchman, Jean Claude Trichet, it was a difficult undertaking to imagine that the USA would give up control of the World Bank. Only the US Federal Reserve would remain in the hands of the Americans.
“Replacing one Bush appointee with another will not resolve the fundamental governance problems of the World Bank,” said one Scandinavian. “Member governments should reject a back-door deal that leaves the bank’s governance structure intact, and should press for an open, merit-based selection process,” he said.
Zoellick’s name also raised eyebrows among development groups for his close ties to the US establishment and corporate interests.
One of the attendees, I have not had the confirmation as to who this individual is, asked Zoellick how he was planning to patch up relationships with third and forth world nations when he is best remembered during his tenure as the USTR, for arm-twisting poor nations’ governments to adhere to US-imposed intellectual-property laws that make medicines, for example, unaffordable to the developing world?
He has been a close friend to the brand-name pharmaceutical industry, and the bilateral trade agreements he has negotiated effectively block access to generic medication for millions of people.
However, what has really riled up both the US and European delegates is the fact that World Bank´s dirty linen is being washed in public, thanks in great part to Paul Wolfowitz´s ineptness which incidentally he has blamed on the press.
What is IMF and the World Bank?
It is widely, but mistakenly, believed that the purpose of the World Bank [controlled by the U.S. Federal Reserve] and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [of which the U.S. is the principal donor and the only nation with the veto power] is to “encourage development and relieve poverty in the third world, but in practice these organizations have added to the impoverishment and destitution of millions” through the loans scheme called “Structural Adjustment Programmes” (SAPs) that have succeeded in adding to the country´s burden of debt and stagnation.
The obvious result of the SAPs from the World Bank and the IMF is that the money lent to the destitute nations were used to make immediate interest payments to western banking institutions, something that both Jim Tucker and I have been saying for years. Furthermore, by ordering Third World economies to focus on production for export purposes, the World Bank and the IMF channelled $178 billion of the Third World financial resources between 1984 and 1990 into servicing dollar-denominated foreign debt.
These programs are being implemented in over 70 Third World and Eastern European countries from Nigeria to Jamaica, from Hungury to Ethiopia, Lesotho, Kenia, Ghana, Uganda subjected to 566 IMF and World Bank stabilization and SAPs with devastating results. SAPs involve the liberalization of African economies which means that foreign companies are encouraged to take over designated sectors of the economy.
The World Bank’s own study titled, “Adjustment Lending: An Evaluation of Ten Years of Experience” (1988) has demonstrated that the SAPs undertaken by 15 Sub-Saharan African countries failed utterly in every measurable criteria.
Despite global adjustment, “thirty-six of Africa’s 47 countries, according to the bank´s secret study, have been subjected to structural adjustment by the Fund and Bank, yet the total external debt of the continent is now 110 percent of its gross national product.”
Additionally, African states, unable to compete with Western multinationals, have been forced to withdraw from the health sector as part of free market economy. This has put African children at the mercy of unscrupulous international organizations and pharmaceutical transnational corporations, who are thus at liberty to use them as guinea pigs for testing various drugs and vaccines. As a case in point, in January 2001, the U.S.-based pharmaceutical TNC Pfizer used an experimental drug on 50,000 children suffering from meningitis in Kano, Nigeria without official authorization. As a result of the epidemic, 15,000 people died while many others became deaf and blind.
Just a couple of other items on the agenda we are working on to expose as well: European relations with Russia not only in Europe but also in Central Asia. With Moscow making a deal with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan over the transport of gas to Europe, the US geo-strategic goal of driving a wedge between the Central Asian countries and Russia lies in shambles. While the US says this is “not good for Europe”, the Europeans are divided. Iran, overnight has become America’s last hope in the energy war.
Iran war, after two years of huffing and puffing by the Bush government is definitely off the table. Furthermore, with France, Russia, Japan and China investing heavily in Iran, the world has drawn a line in the sand and the U.S. will be told at the conference not to cross it. There is blood in the water, and blood in the water usually leads to a good fight.
That notwithstanding, the United States needs to control the region, not only for its oil reserves but, most importantly to help it sustain world economic hegemony. Under this strategic design, regional states will be turned to weak domains of sectarian sheikhs with little or no sovereignty and, by implications, a pathetic agenda of their economic development. Regional chaos favours the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, which in turn reinforces the process of political and social disintegration supported by the Bilderbergers.
And finally, with Blair leaving, the UK will be told yet again, that they must, at all cost, do what is necessary to integrate the country into the European Community, even against the expressed wishes of Britain´s citizens.
More breaking stories on the Bilderberg Conference as they become available.