IMF Profits off of Greece’s Odious Debt

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The “hard-working” (and harder-exploiting) International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made €2.5 billion (roughly $2.8 billion USD) in profit off of Greece’s odious debt since 2010 alone.

Moreover, if Greece does repay its odious debts in full, the IMF will have made €4.3 billion (c. $4.8 billion USD) in profit by 2024.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign, an organization that sees itself as “part of a global movement demanding freedom from the slavery of unjust debts and a new financial system that puts people first,” released the figures in April 2015.

The organization notes (emphasis mine):

The IMF has been charging an effective interest rate of 3.6% on its loans to Greece. This is far more than the interest rate the institution needs to meet all its costs, currently around 0.9%. If this was the actual interest rate Greece had been paying the IMF since 2010, it would have spent €2.5 billion less on payments.

Out of its lending to all countries in debt crisis between 2010 and 2014 the IMF has made a total profit of €8.4 billion, over a quarter of which is effectively from Greece. All of this money has been added to the Fund’s reserves, which now total €19 billion. These reserves would be used to meet the costs from a country defaulting on repayments. Greece’s total debt to the IMF is currently €24 billion.

Jubilee Debt Campaign economist Tim Jones remarked:

The IMF’s loans to Greece have not only bailed out banks which lent recklessly in the first place, they have actively taken even more money out of the country. This usurious interest adds to the unjust debt forced on the people of Greece.

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In short, the IMF continues to profit off of—that is to say, exploit—the hardship, suffering, poverty, hunger, and immiseration of not just the Greek people, but of the people of all countries in economic crisis (a crisis that is itself the result of a global crash brought about by financial capital and ensuing neoliberal reforms austerity measures).

Nevertheless, this is by no means new, unfortunately. It has been the fund’s modus operandi for as long as it has existed.

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