Saturday, January 29, 2011
Arab governments must immediately:
Expel all officials of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and their subset of lending institutions.
Arab countries which are currently under the yoke of IMF conditionalities (notably Egypt and Jordan among the Arabs, and Pakistan among the Moslem states) must unilaterally and immediately throw them off and reassert their national sovereignty.
Every Arab state should unilaterally and immediately declare a debt moratorium in the form of an open-ended freeze on all payments of interest and principal of international financial debt in the Argentine manner, starting with sums allegedly owed to the IMF-World Bank.
The assets of foreign multinational monopolistic firms, especially oil companies, should be seized as the situation requires.
Basic food staples and fuels should be subjected to price controls, with draconian penalties for speculation, including by way of derivatives.
Dirigist measures such as protective tariffs and food price subsidies can be quickly introduced.
Food production needs to be promoted by production and import bounties, as well as by international barter deals.
National grain stockpiles must be quickly constituted.
Capital controls and exchange controls are likely to be needed to prevent speculative attacks on national currencies by foreign hedge funds acting with the ulterior political motives of overthrowing national governments.
Most important, central banks must be nationalized and reconverted to a policy of 0% credit for domestic infrastructure, agriculture, housing, and physical commodity production, with special measures to enhance exports.
Once these reforms have been implemented, it may be time to consider the economic integration of the Arab world as an economic development community in which the foreign exchange earnings of the oil-producing states can be put to work on the basis of mutual advantage for infrastructure and hard commodity capital investment across the entire Arab world.
The alternative is an endless series of destabilizations masterminded by foreigners, and, quite possibly, terminal chaos.