Developing countries and the Washington Consensus

The Seventies were characterized by the locking of accumulation, high inflation and debt. The monetary policies implemented in industrial countries were associated to the enforcement of an austerity treatment in developing countries. These restrictive measures, linked to the liberalization and the opening of national markets to international flows of goods and capital, were grouped together and synthesized in the «Washington Consensus». Its implementation in many South countries (beginning with Latin America) led to the development of inequalities and poverty, to the degradation of the level of life and of public services, to the persistence of indebtment and to the accentuation of financial crisis. The failure of the «Consensus» gave birth to new ideas and propositions on the necessity of State intervention. However, liberalism is not dead. The US unilaterally come back, imposing «the old liberal model» to a growing number of countries without any international consultation. – Summary AFRI-2005