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Features

IMF’s man Ouattara now head of ECOWAS

Crossed Crocodiles

2012-02-22, Issue 571

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/80152

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‘They tell you in the mainstream media that Quattara won? How did he win? Who decides on who wins elections? What constitutional body has absolute and final say on election malpractices? The Supreme Court.’

Alassane Ouattara is the current president of Ivory Coast, selected by France and the United States on behalf of the international community, and with the assistance of the U.N. mission chief to Ivory Coast Y.J. Choi. They declared Ouattara winner of the November 2010 Ivoirian presidential election in 2011. Ouattara spent much of his career at the IMF, including serving as Deputy Managing Director from 1994-1999.

In his acceptance speech he concentrated on security issues, which works well with the priorities of France, the US and NATO.

The Ivorian president was elected for a single-year tenure at the 40th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS concluded in Abuja on Friday.

Quattara said in his acceptance speech that his administration would define common policy and combine resources to fight terrorism, piracy, banditry and proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region.

The Ivorian president also said that he would ensure the modernisation of ECOMOG to tackle security challenges.

He thanked his immediate predecessor, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, for his efforts in piloting ECOWAS in the resolution of the Ivorian political crisis and consolidation of peace and stability in other member-states.

The next summit of ECOWAS has been fixed for the Ivorian Capital, Yamussoukrou, on a date to be announced by the chairman.

At Nairaland, where the comments can be interesting, in comment #5 here, Danka7777 wrote:

‘Quattara – a known former IMF executive, this guy that was hand picked by the western countries to rule Ivory Coast. We are finished. Nigerians reading this, don’t take my words at face value, go and do your own research on why former President of Ivory Coast, Gbagbo, was hunted and ousted from power. This guy was trying to untie Ivory Coast from the shackles of colonial France, in other words, he was trying to untie Ivorian currency from French currency.

‘Essentially what this means is that the former colonial master (France) still controls the currency value of Ivory Coast. Gbagbo was hunted because he VOWED to untie Ivory Coast from the shackles of colonial slavery. They tell you in the mainstream media that Quattara won? Let’s put this in context: how did he win? Who decides on who won elections? What constitutional body has absolute and final say on election malpractices? Is it the Supreme Court or electoral body? My judgement tells me it’s the Supreme Court and most of you will agree. Who decided the election of President Goodluck Jonathan vs. Buhari few weeks ago and in the past elections, was it Supreme Court or electoral body (INEC)? Of course it was the Nigerian Supreme Court. Who decided the election of Bush vs. Gore in 2000? United States Supreme Court did. Now, conversely, when the Ivorian Supreme Court ruled that Gbagbo was the winner of the election in Ivory Coast, the western world said, No! no! no! … Who did these people think they are fooling? Like we are babies and can’t think for our selves?’

IMF policies, particularly the market theology inspired SAPs, structural adjustment programs, have been responsible for the death and suffering of hundreds and thousands of people and the dismantling and destruction of vital institutions of government in many developing countries around the world. The IMF is the tool of bankers, with a banker’s view of the world. Currently we can see how harmful that can be in Greece.

I think it is important to consider this in the light of recent studies and information about the nature of global finance.

REVEALED: THE CAPITALIST NETWORK THAT RUNS THE WORLD

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power, the analysis could help make it more stable. By finding the vulnerable aspects of the system, economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy. Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Sugihara says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk.

“The super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.

I don’t believe much in conspiracies, eventually people talk. The more people that know a secret, the less likely it is to stay a secret. Common interests are a different matter. Individuals and groups can organize and act as powerful forces to protect their own interests without the need to conspire.

As a long term employee and official of the IMF, Ouattara is a part of the global financial structure and likely to work for its interests above the interests of Ivory Coast, West Africa, or the continent of Africa. To date he has shown no sign that his allegiances are with Ivory Coast or with Africa above the IMF, Sarkozy, France, and the bankers.

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* This article was first published by Crossed Crocodiles blog.
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