In the February edition of New English Review, the good doctor reflects on the history of Equatorial Guinea and his time spent there after hearing about the recent massive IMF loan to that country’s criminally corrupt regime.
I see that the International Monetary Fund has just granted Equatorial Guinea a loan of $280,000,000. Could there be a better illustration of the famous dictum, usually attributed to my late friend, Peter Bauer, but denied by him as ever having been his, that foreign aid is the means by which poor people in rich countries give money to rich people in poor countries—except that Equatorial Guinea is no longer, at least on the basis of Gross Domestic Product per head, a very poor country? Rather, it is a country in which a tiny kleptocracy ensures that most of the population continues very poor. One might ask whether any of the directors of the IMF would have extended a loan of even $280 to Equatorial Guinea if the money had to come from their own pockets.