Bretton Woods Project - Critical voices on the World Bank and IMF

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Bretton Woods Update No.69 January/February 2010

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

Debt aftershocks to shake Haiti's recovery? IMF and World Bank debts provoke outcry

News|12 February 2010

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

An IMF loan to Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake in early January has been criticised for exacerbating the country's debt burden and endangering recovery. read article...

The World Bank's conflicted role in energy Controversy among the Bank's executive directors

News|15 February 2010

A spat between the US administration and some middle and low income shareholders highlights political tensions carried over from Copenhagen climate talks. And while the Bank showcases its 'clean' energy investments, projects in the pipeline for 2010 look set to continue large-scale investment in fossil fuels. read article...

Human rights and the World Bank's energy policy

by Romina Picolotti and Jorge Daniel Taillant

Comment|15 February 2010

If the World Bank is a global inter-governmental institution devoted to reducing poverty, then its global duty should be to focus on achieving energy access for the poor, and certainly for the most vulnerable amongst the poor. read article...

Large hydropower: renewable or not?

News|15 February 2010

Contradictions in the World Bank's approach to hydropower call into question its burgeoning portfolio in the sector. read article...

World Bank prospects for climate finance, others weigh innovative sources

by Ama Marston

News|15 February 2010

Leaked documents reveal that the World Bank is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Copenhagen Accord on climate change and is optimistic that it will play a leading role in future climate finance. Meanwhile, the looming gaps in finance left unresolved in Copenhagen are turning attention to proposals for innovative sources, including those that involve the controversial the International Monetary Fund (IMF). read article...

IDA replenishment

Inside the inst|15 February 2010

This year, donor countries will decide on their financial contributions to the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) for 2011-2014. read article...

Farming furore: World Bank launches new agriculture fund

News|15 February 2010

The Bank’s new multi-billion dollar agriculture trust fund has got off the ground while its recent agriculture strategy signals a renewed attempt to push the controversial policies of the 2008 World Development Report. read article...

IEG calls for overhaul of World Bank's lending criteria

News|15 February 2010

The withholding of a critical evaluation of the World Bank’s method of allocating lending to low-income countries raises suspicions that the Bank is seeking to avoid public criticism in advance of the upcoming negotiations for replenishment of the Bank’s cheap loan arm. read article...

World Bank moving backwards on gender?

News|12 February 2010

An evaluation of the World Bank’s progress on gender suggests that the Bank may actually be going backwards in some areas. read article...

IMF economic policies under fire Hiding the conditionality problem

News|15 February 2010

While the political agenda at the IMF is shifting back to mandate and governance reform, there are growing calls that the Fund needs to fundamentally rethink the monetary and fiscal policies it recommends if the institution is to retain legitimacy and renew its mandate. read article...

IMF still failing to connect with member countries

News|12 February 2010

An independent evaluation of the IMF's dealings with its member countries shows a startling amount of displeasure with the Fund's work in rich and poor countries alike. The IMF board failed to come up with a credible action plan to deal with the problems. read article...

Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF 2009

Resource|15 February 2010

Recommendations from Bretton Woods Project staff on the best papers, books and electronic resources of 2009. read article...

Bankspeak of the year 2009

Humour|15 February 2010

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

IMF waters down transparency review

News|15 February 2010

The IMF executive board significantly weakened many of the far-ranging proposals made by Fund staff in the recently completed transparency review, leaving significant power in the hands of countries to block the disclosure of country documents, and failing to require publication of draft policy proposals before they are discussed at the Board. read article...

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