For the world’s ruling classes, primed for the G20 summit last week, the seemingly colorless niceties of monetary policy became the topmost theme of debate. And while the villains of the political class characterize monetary decisions as the technical and politically neutral bailiwick of qualified experts, those decisions are a weight-bearing pillar of statist exploitation.
As the world economic order has dealt with the aftereffects of the financial crisis, China and the United States have exchanged barbs, both accusing the other of unfair currency manipulations. As a resolution of this discord and for the prevention of future imbalances, reports Reuters, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has “called for a stronger International Monetary Fund.”
Geithner argues that an empowered IMF would “shine a spotlight on risks” and “preempt the emergence of large imbalances in the global economy.” Contrary to Geithner’s glib assurances, however, imbalances and risks are part and parcel of the world’s statist financial framework. Moreover, the exploitative nature of this paradigm will remain intact regardless of the outcomes of China/U.S. squabbles.
Where the banking complex of the state allows favored corporations to, in the words of Murray Rothbard, “expand and inflate without cease” — to charge monopoly interest rates on money they don’t even have — workers are prevented by law from mobilizing their own wealth. Under coercive statist systems, the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank can pull the money they lend you out of the ether, but ordinary people are prevented by the high hurdles of minimum capital stipulations from establishing institutions that serve their needs.
From the World Bank to the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the Federal Reserve System, the entire financial structure of statist banking, both internationally and domestically, is a device not for the functioning of free markets, but for corporate welfare. The Ex-Im Bank, as an example, hands stolen taxpayer money to the dependencies of the American Empire to fabricate a foreign demand for the rubbish product (in particular weapons) of chosen Big Businesses.
But in the face of all of this state-corporate skullduggery, the mainstream conversation about “redistribution of wealth” is nonetheless somehow confined to maligning those on Medicaid or receiving food stamps.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, conceived as a uniform system for cartelizing global finance, similarly exist to provide easy money for states and therefore for their venal plutocrats. “Cooperative behavior,” notes economist Jörg Guido Hülsmann, is the price charged by the Western political establishment (read: American Empire) for “developing countries’” access to the loot; such behavior amounts, of course, “to military bases in these countries, or to international trade agreements, or to special privileges for a few large ‘multinational’ corporations.”
Free market anarchists take issue with the G20’s entire anti-competition order and all of its preferential treatment. Ours is not the purportedly “free market” of Bank of America and BNP Paribas, a system whereby obstacles to market entry screen the exploitation and waste of corporate officialdom from the power-dispersing influences of genuine freedom.
By preventing anyone from using state-enforced legal privilege to artificially limit the realm within which competition takes place, freed markets empower the productive whose work creates value. Rather than identifying with “the people who matter” in the racketeer economies of statism, who would rather not compete on even footing with ignoble peons, free market anarchists ally with the oppressed.
Ruling class infighting across national boundaries means little for the productive masses. The G20 summit will, as always, leave the prerogatives of the very rich unscathed, confining the debate to mere marginalia. Money may not grow on trees, but for the elites who benefit from the machinery of statist institutions like the World Bank and IMF it might as well.