April 17, 2014
Why is there an IMF? It seems a good question, so here is the short answer: in the post gold standard world, central bank-supported fractional reserve banking has enabled the emergence of such huge credit booms, that governments frequently get into severe trouble when a boom collapses and their countries’ current account deficits are suddenly no longer funded by foreign investors. Then they feel forced to go hat in hand to the IMF.
It should be obvious that the solution to the problem is not to let a tax payer funded bureaucracy treat the symptoms, but to strike at the root by returning to a sound monetary system. The only truly sound monetary system would be a market-based one. By adopting such a system, one could do away with a great many bureaucracies and regulations in one fell swoop.
Note in this context that today’s popular views on the gold standard â€“ or rather, the views that are promoted by all those with a stake in the current system â€“ are entirely wrong. Not one of the canards brought up against it has any merit (we’re thinking of a few often used lines like ‘there is not enough gold’, or ‘we would not have the flexibility that is needed for central banks to steer the economy’ and similar nonsense).
Even the historical account regurgitated over and over again is completely distorted. The gold standard never ‘failed’. It was deliberately undermined and sabotaged by governments in order to finance the waging of war. Once this was done, they kept at it because they wanted to have unrestrained spending at their disposal at all times.
The IMF is a kind of ugly afterbirth of the whole sordid process. We are saddled with fiat monies today, the adoption of which has imposed enormous costs on society, not only in terms of lost material wealth and progress, but also in terms of lost freedoms.