Thursday, 5 May 2011

UN Economists Disagree With IMF & Geithner on China, Bollinger Blind on US Banks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 5 -- While the International Monetary Fund and US officials like Timothy Geithner call for changes in the valuation of China's yuan, the UN on Thursday said that economic problems in the US and countries like it cannot be blamed on China, and defended valuation of currency and capital controls as sovereign rights.

Inner City Press asked UN Deparment of Economic and Social Affairs official Jomo Sundaram about Geithner's and the IMF's charges, and to explain the UN's and IMF's differences on issues ranging from India's economic prospects to the place of capital controls.

Jomo replied that the IMF has been ignoring Article Six of its Articles of Agreement, which he says gives states the right to manage their capital accounts. He said UN bodies like the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, are “closer to governments” that the IMF, which works from Washington.

Certainly, ESCAP chief Noeleen Heyzer has made comments viewed as favorable to the still military dominated government of Myanmar, and Jomo on Thursday tossed seemingly gratuitous praise to Sri Lanka, just after a UN Panel of Experts described 40,000 civilians killed there.

Geithner, Obama & Hillary Clinton & Chinese officials, UN & Bollinger not shown

But ESCAP was not able to report much data about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- so they are not able to get close to ALL governments.

Also at the UN this week, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger told the press that there needs to be more journalism in China because “we don't know the condition of Chinese banks.” One wanted to ask him, what about the US banks whose dalliance in predatory mortgages led the whole world into economic meltdown? But the question was not taken. So it goes at the UN.

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