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Documentaries On:

The Money Lenders: Update 2000

A critical investigation of The World Bank and IMF
Written, directed and produced by Robert Richter

"Clear and comprehensive... admired the way in which you were able to bring an in-depth exploration of these complex issues to life."
—UN Development Program
"Well balanced...Excellent...Superior."
—U.S.A. Gabriel Awards
"Thought provoking."
—Bank Check Quarterly

Too hot for PBS, which argued that it would not telecast The Money Lenders because "it has a perception of bias in favor of the poor." It was a primetime telecast in the 1990s throughout Europe and updated in 2000 for educational institutions.

"Interesting look at both sides of the issue... Recommended."
—Video Librarian

For the first time a documentary on major criticisms of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two of the most powerful financial institutions in the world. Five country case studies are presented, each concentrating on a different aspect of the critics' charges:

  • Bolivia: Debt, Drugs and Democracy
  • Ghana: The Model of Success
  • Brazil: Debt, Damage and Politics
  • Thailand: Dams and Dislocation
  • Philippines: The Debt Fighters

The charges, including those related to structural adjustment, are controversial and provocative. Some go to the heart of the power and policies of these institutions. They are made by economists, journalists, sociologists; church, labor, environmental, government and community leaders; and ordinary people from these countries who are perceived by critics to be victims of IMF and World Bank policies and projects.

Responses to criticisms are presented by the World Bank Senior Vice President and IMF Deputy Managing Director and top current and past government officials from each country. Bank/Fund history and decision-making processes are also included in this valuable teaching tool.

"Most everyone agrees that the system for governing the world economy that emerged from a hotel room in Bretton Woods, N.H. a half-century ago - in the era of the gold standard and fixed rate exchanges - is hopelessly outdated."
-New York Times

Since November 1999, over 50 protests about World Bank/IMF policies have taken place in more than 15 countries, with over one million protesters.

Emmy Finalist; Prix Leonardo, Parma International Film Festival

85 minutes
Divisible into five country case studies

Study Areas: agricultural economics, banking, business and society, contemporary moral problems, development, economic geography, economy of natural resources, environment, finance, financial institutions and markets, globalization, international business, international finance, international law, international organizations, international trade and finance, money and banking, political sociology, public finance in economics, Third World studies