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Having helped cripple Suriname, IMF swoops down to mortgage the country

By: Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer, GATA

 -- Published: Sunday, 24 January 2016 | Print  | Disqus 

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Having helped to cripple the economy of the gold- and commodity-producing South American country of Suriname, the International Monetary Fund is on the way there to put a mortgage on the little multi-racial democracy's vastly undervalued natural resources.

The IMF and Suriname's government announced the mission this week. Appended are the IMF's press release and a ham-handed English translation of a news report in De Ware Tijd (The True Times), the country's largest newspaper, based in the capital city, Paramaribo. (As Suriname is the former Dutch Guyana, Dutch remains the official language.)

Suriname's economy is built on gold and bauxite mining and oil extraction and exploration -- Iamgold, Newmont, and Alcoa have operations there -- and the recent collapse of commodity prices has almost wiped out the country's foreign exchange reserves.

But the spectacular hypocrisy here is that the IMF itself is a primary perpetrator of Suriname's problem, as the IMF long has been a crucial part of the gold price suppression scheme of Western central banks. The IMF's participation in the scheme was disclosed three years ago by GATA's publication of the agency's secret March 1999 staff report, which described how the agency was allowing its member central banks to conceal their gold swaps and leases to facilitate their secret interventions in the gold and currency markets:

GATA appeals to Suriname's government and all Surinamese journalists and patriots to question the forthcoming IMF delegation about the agency's culpability in gold price suppression.

No developing country deserves better than Suriname, whose people, Wikipedia notes, "are among the most diverse in the world, spanning a multitude of ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups." People get along there virtually without regard for differences that routinely plunge other countries into chronic political and social turmoil and even civil war. The Reporters Without Borders organization ranks Suriname 29th among 180 nations judged for freedom of the press -- 20 spots above the United States:

But like so many other developing countries, Suriname is a rich country insisting on being poor, a country that, while bravely independent, has not yet fully shaken off centuries of imperialism.

Suriname doesn't need charity and international debt. It needs a free and transparent market for its primary natural resource, gold -- the world's natural money and reserve currency.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

IMF Statement on Suriname

Press Release No. 16/22
Friday, January 22, 2016

Mr. Daniel Leigh, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief for Suriname, issued the following statement today:

"The Surinamese authorities have approached the fund to discuss the possibility of IMF financial support for their economic reform program in response to the sharp fall in international commodity prices. Several important policies have already been implemented in the context of this program with a view to strengthening the level of international reserves and paving the way for the economy to achieve sustained growth and financial stability.

“Together with our sister organizations -- the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank -- we stand ready to help Suriname meet the economic challenges it is currently facing.

“At the request of the authorities, an IMF team will visit Paramaribo in the next few weeks for discussions on Suriname's reform program and financing needs."

* * *

By Ivan Cairo
De Ware Tijd (The True Times), Paramaribo, Suriname
Saturday, January 23, 2016

PARAMARIBO -- The International Monetary Fund will help Suriname in implementing an adjustment program to bring the derailed economy out of the mud. Thus the stabilization program of the second administration of President Desi Bouterse will get an IMF flavor.

In late November Finance Minister Gillmore Hoefdraad, interviewed by De Ware Tijd, insisted that the economic situation had not deteriorated to the point that IMF aid had to be invoked. He left the door open. Hoefdraad said the government would not hesitate to consult with the IMF "if the need is there for stand-by arrangements." He added that there was "ongoing dialogue" with the IMF.

Friday the Ministry of Finance announced that the minister has held successful talks in Washington with top officials of the IMF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank. The discussions provided clarity on the government's stabilization program.

In line with this the government has invited the IMF to visit Suriname in early February to discuss possible financial and technical support. The IMF team will arrive shortly to determine the financial and technical assistance needed by Suriname. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank will also be part of this mission, according to the Finance Ministry.

The ministry further stated that an IMF mission to Suriname late last year was "greatly impressed" was the seriousness of the government on the adaptation programs. According to the Finance Ministry the IMF would be satisfied "with the efforts of Suriname on the macroeconomic front and the ongoing and imminent institutional reforms in ​​public finances." The IMF indicated that substantial funding can support the reserve position of the central bank and extended technical assistance can help design and implement reforms and can give a boost to confidence inside and outside Suriname.

* * *

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