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Bretton Woods Update No.59 January/February 2008

PDF version | At Issue PDF | text version | versión en español

Staff in black IMF faces structural adjustment

News|31 January 2008

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/Thorogood.net

Thanks to pressure from the major shareholders the IMF’s new managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is being forced to cut the IMF’s budget. Internal documents reveal some details of the restructuring, including 15 per cent staff layoffs and charges for technical assistance, but fail to shed light on whether the Fund will shift away from dictating to poor countries and towards overseeing global markets. read article...

Bank violates indigenous rights

News|1 February 2008

The World Bank-funded Nam Theun 2 (NT2) dam in Lao PDR is under scrutiny once again from NGOs, UN representatives and 'international experts' for its violation of human and indigenous peoples' rights, and its failure to achieve the development and environment goals it has promised read article...

IFC and health "unsubstantiated claims"

News|1 February 2008

In a December report financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that over the next decade $25 to $30 billion will be needed to meet the needs of Africa's health care and announced that it will coordinate $1 billion, in equity investments and loans to finance private sector health provision in Sub-Saharan Africa read article...

Whoever loses, the Bank always wins Profits from Indonesian forests next

by Torry Kuswardono

Comment|1 February 2008

The World Bank developed its campaign to 'combat' climate change through curbing carbon emissions from deforestation in tropical countries, but nobody noticed that the Bank, through its lending and development policies, has been promoting deforestation in tropical countries like Indonesia. read article...

World Bank and power "fatally-dangerous schizophrenia"

News|1 February 2008

Calls for the Bank to end its lending for fossil fuels have increased in the aftermath of the 13th conference of the parties of the UN framework convention on climate change in Bali but the Bank has continued to push oil, gas and coal operations. read article...

IMF conditionality high, effectiveness low

News|1 February 2008

A report by the IMF’s evaluation arm faulted the Fund’s overuse of structural conditionality and partially blamed donors for the problem, but civil society critics of conditionality are not satisfied with the scope of the report or the changes accepted by the Fund. read article...

IMF's proposed sovereign wealth fund code ruffles feathers

News|1 February 2008

The IMF’s effort to craft a voluntary code of conduct for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) has sparked concern in different parts of the globe. read article...

The IFIs and Islamic finance

Inside the inst|1 February 2008

The World Bank Group and the IMF have become more involved in assistance to and oversight of Islamic financial institutions. read article...

As dollar, markets crash where is the IMF? Fund chief supports fiscal stimulus and bigger budget deficits in the US

News|1 February 2008

Amid a global financial market seizure, which the IMF proclaimed was not likely to happen as recently as October, EU leaders and international economists speculate about how the Fund could be tackling the crash of the dollar and financial market turmoil. At the World Economic Forum, the IMF's managing director abruptly reversed the Fund's advice to the US. read article...

Zoellick and corruption: A new approach?

News|1 February 2008

World Bank president Robert Zoellick's handling of corruption in India and changes to the anti-corruption unit, signal a different approach to the problem from predecessor Paul Wolfowitz. read article...

Donor contributions to IDA up record amount Norway, civil society not satisfied

News|1 February 2008

Despite evidence that it has failed to end the practice of forcing policy reforms on recipient countries, the World Bank will collect a record $41.6 billion for its low-income arm, the International Development Association. read article...

New figures cast shadow over Bank poverty reduction claims

News|1 February 2008

Preliminary recalculations of global economic output excluding differences in domestic prices and currencies, released by the World Bank in mid-December, may undermine the much-trumpeted claims that globalisation has reduced the number of people living in extreme poverty. read article...

Recommended resources 2007

Resource|1 February 2008

Recommendations from Bretton Woods Project staff on the best papers, books and electronic resources of 2007. read article...

Bankspeak of the year 2007

Humour|1 February 2008

Annual Bretton Woods Project award for the most incomprehensible or absurd use of language in a Bank or Fund document or speech. read article...

Is the Bank's carbon markets approach an effective way to address climate change?

by Jon Sohn/ Janet Redman

At Issue|4 February 2008

The World Bank's involvement in the carbon market is under hot debate: Janet Redman from the Institute for Policy Studies opposes its approach while Jon Sohn, from Climate Change Capital argues that there is a role for the Bank to play. read article...

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Recent briefings & reports

Memorandum to the International Development Committee: Inquiry on the Future of UK Development Cooperation  26 June 2013

The Doing Business review: a test of World Bank leadership 24 June 2013

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Working paper: The private sector and climate change adaptation: International Finance Corporation investments under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience  24 April 2013

The UK's role in the World Bank and IMF: Department for International Development and HM Treasury  13 March 2013

World Bank on jobs: a "significant departure" or "business as usual"? 13 February 2013

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