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Cambridge, MA becomes 7th American City to Boycott World Bank Bonds
Email: weaver (nospam) bostonglobalaction.net
29 Apr 2002
Modified: 07 May 2002
Bankbusters of Boston savors a successful campaign to convince the city of Cambridge to send a clear message to the World Bank.
Bankbusters and its allied coalition of local justice organizations, successfully convinced the Cambridge City Council to unanimously pass the World Bank Bond Boycott this evening.
Cambridge became the seventh city, and first in the Northeast to pass the Boycott, following hot on the heels of Milwaukee that passed the Boycott in early March.
11 Cambridge residents and representatives of local justice, labor, immigrant rights, international solidarity, and legal activist groups spoke in support of the two resolutions before the City -- one to commit the city to boycott World Bank Bonds, and the second charging the city to find further steps to take against the World Bank's policies. The resolutions also requested the city to the recommend the same resolutions for adoption by the state legislature and governor. No one spoke in opposition, and the resolutions easily and quickly passed in a voice vote.
The World Bank Bond Boycott was initially proposed almost two years ago, soon after the hugely successful April 16 mobilizations in Washington DC against the World Bank and IMF, as a way to maintain a focus on these international financial institutions. The campaign in the Boston area picked up steam with the formal creation of Bankbusters out of the Boston Global Action Network in the summer of 2000. By late 2001, the Boycott had amassed enough community support in Cambridge to begin approaching Councillors. Eventually, the arduous task of forging a broadbased coalition around World Bank and globalization issues that came to include over 25 endorsing groups and the grinding work of collecting signatures from Cambridge residents for the Boycott petition paid off in an easy win at the Cambridge City Council.
Text of Resolutions
weaver (nospam) bostonglobalaction.net (unverified)
30 Apr 2002
April 29, 2002
Here is the first resolution passed:
Whereas, The World Bank is a principal architect and enforcer of corporate globalization by opening the doors to the relocation of manufacturing jobs from the US to countries like Mexico and Honduras; and
Whereas, The World Bank refuses to respect the internationally recognized core labor standards of freedom of association and the right to engage in collective bargaining and seeks to make poor countries convenient and cheap for foreign investment, even to the point of urging Mexico to eliminate labor standards; and
Whereas, The World Bank pushes developing countries to restructure their economies for the benefit of transnational corporations and foreign investors, and to produce for export to the United States rather than producing for the needs of the majority of the population; and
Whereas, The World Bank aggressively promotes privatization, including privatization of basic public services such as education, health care, water and public pension systems; and
Whereas, The World Bank has refused the demands of the Jubilee 2000 movement to cancel 100% of its debt claim against poor countries using the World Bank's own resources, and continues to collect debt payments from countries, which are spending more on debt service to external creditors than they are spending on health care and education; and
Whereas, The World Bank is an institution which is neither accountable to the majority of people in the developing countries where it operates, nor to the taxpayers of the United States which is its principal shareholder; and
Whereas, 80% of the resources controlled by the World Bank come from the sale of World Bank bonds to institutional investors, including pension funds, and these resources are used to carry out the aforementioned destructive economic policies; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Cambridge City Council declares its support for the boycott of the World Bank bonds until the World Bank respects labor rights, stops promoting privatization, cancels 100% of debts owed to it by impoverished nations and stops the imposition of destructive economic policies; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Cambridge City Council calls upon and urges the State Legislature and the Governor to use their best efforts and influence to ensure that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts divests of any bonds it may currently hold that may have been issued by the World Bank, and further that no said bonds will be purchased; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the City Clerk shall forward copies of this resolution to Governor Swift and the Cambridge delegation to the State Legislature.
Here is the second resolution passed:
WHEREAS: From this date forward, the Cambridge City Council desires the City of Cambridge to implement a policy not to purchase bonds issued by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) or invest money in any investment fund that holds World Bank bonds, until such date as the World Bank implements all of the following conditions:
* Cancel 100% of illegitimate debts owed to them, without use of tax dollars;
* Make all board meetings of the World Bank open to the public and to the news media;
* Make all decisions by recorded vote, and make transcripts available after the meetings;
* Make all negotiations with developing country governments fully transparent, with all agreements available for public inspection, debate, and approval before they are signed;
* Make a firm, verifiable commitment not to impose Structural Adjustment and similar conditions as a requirement for loans;
* Make a firm, verifiable commitment not to require privatization of basic services such as health care, education, and water supply, and not to require "user fees" for these services as a condition for loans, and particularly, not to require African countries to impose user fees and reduce poor people's access to health care at a time when the African continent is being ravaged by AIDS;
* Make a firm, verifiable commitment not to lend for environmentally destructive projects such as large dams, logging, oil and gas, mining, and unsustainable fishing, and particularly, to implement the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams; and
WHEREAS: The City Council desires investigation of additional means by which the City of Cambridge can take action against the policies of the World Bank; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council with a plan for implementation of the policy set forth in the first paragraph of this order; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager investigate and report on what other steps the City could take to oppose the destructive policies of the World Bank; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Clerk forward a copy of this resolution to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.
Better Than Nothing. Or Is It?
by Jon Chance
jpchance (nospam) egroups.com (unverified)
07 May 2002
Asking the unlawful and PRIVATE World Bank Group to behave nicer is better than nothing. But it sure ain't bank-busting. And it leaves the existing artificial money-power structure in place so that a small minority can control "our" media, "our" elections, "our" government and "our" military.
Perhaps American TAXPAYERS are unwitting shareholders in the PRIVATE Federal Reserve Bank and its global extension, the WB/IMF.
But American CITIZENS are not genuine shareholders in this financial fraud that issues money out of nothing (fractional-reserve banking) and charges interest (usury) for creating NOTHING (other than a deception of legitimate power), in the same manner as ENRON.
How national money is issued:
National currencies are "fiat" currency--issued, managed and guaranteed by a central authority; and are created by bank debt:
"Debt money derives its value from its scarcity relative to its usefulness" (Jackson & McConnell Economics. Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 1988.).
National currency is measured in US$. By virtue of the treaty signed after World War II at Bretton-Woods, New Hampshire (U.S.A.), all national currencies are mediated through the U.S. dollar [sic].
The agreement followed negotiations primarily between the United States and Britain, and provided for the convertibility of U.S. dollars into gold.
In August of 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon unilaterally reneged on the dollar-gold equivalence standard by "closing the gold window" when France and the United Kingdom requested such redemptions, inaugurating the current era of "floating" exchanges in which the values of each currency and of gold are determined autonomously by market forces.
National currency exchanges are negotiable. Participants may negotiate the amount of national currency to be exchanged in any particular transaction: One hour of a service requiring extensive training, skill, and experience, or expensive equipment, or posing high risk, may justifiably be worth several hours of less demanding work.
By leaving it to the negotiating parties to settle on a price, one solves the problem of having to pre-determine the value of everyone's time and goods, as was attempted unsuccessfully under the Soviet planning system.
Outside of very narrowly defined communities where it is generally accepted that everyone's time has equal value (retirement homes, for example, where Time Dollars are very popular), systems enforcing a certain exchange rate for everyone's time will chase away those people who are exceptionally talented, thorough, efficient and/or hardworking, by not providing reasonable value for their service.
Structural incentives in the national currency system
National currencies bear interest: creating structural competition between participants (see "The Eleventh Round") and encouraging short-term planning via "discounted cash flow" (see "The Short-Sighted Glasses").
How the national currency systems manage global money:
Each country has a Central Bank which regulates that nation's money supply. Central Banks may be privately-owned, government-owned, or of mixed private and public ownership. Global coordination occurs primarily through the Bank for International Settlements for the top 10 +1 Central Banks; and through the International Monetary Fund for the system as a whole.
SEE BANK OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS:
WHO OWNS THE FEDERAL RESERVE CORPORATION:
(See also Fedpoint 10, "The Role of Reserve Bank Directors.")
Terms expire December 31 of the year indicated
(elected by member banks to represent member banks)
George W. Hamlin, IV (2002)
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company
Jill M. Considine (2004)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Depository Trust Company
Sanford I. Weill (2003)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
(elected by member banks to represent the public)
Ann M. Fudge (2002)
Former Executive Vice President, Kraft Foods, Inc.,
and President, Coffee and Cereal Division
Jerry I. Speyer (2003)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tishman Speyer Properties
Ronay Menschel (2004)
(elected by the Board of Governors to represent the public)
Gerald M. Levin (2003) DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
Chief Executive Officer
AOL Time Warner Inc.
Peter G. Peterson (2004) CHAIRMAN
The Blackstone Group
Albert J. Simone (2002)
Rochester Institute of Technology