The Revolving Door
Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate and former Chief Economist of the World Bank in his frank critique of the World Bank and IMF, "Globalisation and its discontents", notes that "The institutions are dominated not just by the wealthiest industrial countries but also by commercial and financial interests in those countries, and the policies of the institutions naturally reflect this". This, he says, happens because the World Bank and other Multi-lateral financial institutions are controlled by the wealthy countries. For the WB/IMF, these countries are represented by their Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

He goes on to say, "The Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors typically have close ties with the financial community; they come from financial firms, and after their period in government service, that is where they return. These individuals naturally see the world through the eyes of the financial community. The decisions of any institution naturally reflect the perspectives and interests of those who make the decisions; not surprisingly, the policies of the international financial institutions are all too often closely aligned with the commercial and financial interests of those in the advanced industrial countries."

Though an insider with impeccable credentials and credibility like Stiglitz has laid bare this fact which was known by most people much earlier, yet it is obvious that the government of India's policies regarding the revolving door between the government and the World Bank/IMF are totally oblivious to this.

How else would one explain the fact that for much of the last 20 years, and particularly since 1991, many if not most of the top economic policy makers including members of the planning commission, secretaries of the Finance Ministry and Governors of the Reserve Bank have been staffers of the World Bank/IMF. They have moved smoothly and seamlessly between the World Bank/IMF and the government of India, as if the government of India were just a division of the World Bank/IMF.


Arvin Kejriwal -Delhi Water Privatization
Amit Bhaduri - Response to the World Bank
Madhura Swaminathan - World Bank and Food Security


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