What’s good for the goose?

Apparently, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander in the time of the free fall of the free market:

The IMF’s advice to Pakistan (and its no different for the rest of the third world) is to privatize the government’s assets and raise funds from the market. At the same time, the IMF chief wants the markets, in turn to raise money from the US federal government. Why not then give a handout from the US federal government directly to the rich world’s ‘burden’?

The IMF said it was encouraged that the (Pakistan) government was committed to measures to improve its financial position, including privatizing assets and raising funds from the international markets.

Four days ago, the IMF chief had the exactly the opposite take on the United States’s .7 trillion “bail out” plan to stop the free market’s free fall:

The United States needs to act urgently to shield its economy from an escalating credit crisis and Europe must ready plans in case its problems worsen, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

“We’re right at the moment where action is needed,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told media. “A non-perfect plan is better than no plan at all,” he said of the $700 billion bank bailout plan rejected by the US House of Representatives on Monday.

Incidentally, compare the “bail out” amount with 103b dollar the G8 collectively provides in development assistance to the poor world, much of it their former colonies:

The (World Bank) report points out that international development assistance – estimated at $103.7bn in 2007 – actually fell compared to the previous year, despite promises by the G8 countries at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to double aid by 2010.

“Amazingly, rich countries gave twice as much of their income to poor countries in 1963 than they did in 2007.”

But then, as the Punjabi poer Ajmer Rode writes in his poem “Playing with Big Numbers“:

The human mind
is essentially qualitative.
As you know,
we are easily excited by
pinks and purples,
triangles and circles
and we endlessly argue
over true and false,
right and wrong.

But quantitative analyses
rarely touch our souls.

Numbers were invented mainly
by men to trick each other.

But playing with big numbers
could be interesting.

Now one fine morning, even if
one of these cries suddenly hits
you, it will shatter your soul into
a billion pieces. It will take
14 years to gather
the pieces and put them back
into one piece.

On the other hand, maybe all the
trillion cries could hit your soul
and nothing would happen.


Author: bhupinder singh

an occasional blogger

2 thoughts on “What’s good for the goose?”

  1. I think the bailout in the US, and the decline in the whole world market, is a big strike to the neoliberal model. The US and the IMF, are not in position to dictate such terms to Pakistan.

    I would call the bailout state capitalist.

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