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Bretton Woods Update No.76 June/July 2011

PDF version | text version | versión en español

European countries plot heist of IMF top job once again

by Hadiru Mahdi

News|10 June 2011

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/Thorogood.net

As nominations close on the IMF leadership race it seems certain that European countries will trample over promises for "an open, merit-based and transparent selection process", and succeed in shoe horning French finance minister Christine Lagarde into the job. read article...

IFC financial intermediary lending: cause for complaint?

News|14 June 2011

A case filed by communities in India has prompted the first internal probe of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector arm, for its lending through financial intermediaries, highlighting concerns about the transparency and effectiveness of this lending. read article...

IEG faults IFC poverty focus

News|14 June 2011

An April report by the Bank’s arms-length evaluation unit faults the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector arm, for failing to pay attention to how its promotion of private sector growth impacts the poor. read article...

Unease over Bank approach to global food crisis

by Caroline Schenkel

News|13 June 2011

NGO criticism of the World Bank's market-based approach to the global food crisis, particularly with regard to foreign agricultural investment, increased in recent months, while the Bank reiterated its existing position in April meetings. read article...

IMF's European austerity drive goes on despite failures and protests

News|13 June 2011

The IMF programme in Portugal highlights the heavy conditionality attached to loans. Meanwhile, a big, and very public, fight is brewing over debt in Greece, where the IMF denies any problems. read article...

The IFC's approach to international trade finance

Inside the inst|13 June 2011

Trade finance refers to financing arrangements that support international trade transactions. It is one of the central parts of a new ten-year strategy paper on international trade currently being developed by the World Bank for the period between 2011 and 2021. read article...

Brazil, India spurn IMF capital controls framework

News|13 June 2011

Major developing countries have rebuffed the IMF's proposed framework on capital controls, or 'code of conduct' as it has been renamed. The board paper discussed in March drew fire from Brazil and India for being too prescriptive and suggesting that controls should only be used temporarily and as a last resort, but the policy will go ahead despite the acrimony. read article...

IMF policy, but not practice? Regressive tax in Pakistan

by Azhar Lashari and Rachel Sharpe

News|13 June 2011

The IMF is withholding part of a loan to Pakistan over its failure to raise consumption taxes or decrease spending, but IMF-led reforms fail to address the under-taxation of the country's wealthy elite. The IMF's official approach to tax policy advice, articulated in a March board paper, shows a new appreciation for the distributional effects of taxation, but policy has not translated into practice. read article...

World Bank energy strategy stalled

News|14 June 2011

A mid April meeting of the World Bank board sub-group, the Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE), threw the development of the Bank’s energy strategy into disarray, while NGOs complain of a weakening of Bank commitment to consultation and continue to critique Bank energy investments. read article...

Conflict of interest? World Bank's role in global climate fund causes outcry

News|14 June 2011

As civil society groups and developing countries continue to warn against World Bank influence in the design and management of the new Green Climate Fund (GCF), further criticism is emerging of existing Bank climate initiatives. read article...

BP cash for World Bank forest fund

News|14 June 2011

Global oil and gas company BP has pledged $5 million to the Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). read article...

Rehash of failed policies for Arab states?

News|13 June 2011

As revolutionary movements sweep the Arab world, the World Bank and the IMF have taken a lead in international economic engagement in the Middle East and North Africa region. But critics have warned of the dangers of locking transitional governments into long-term loans with economic conditionalities that may perpetuate the flawed development model that contributed to the crisis in the first place. read article...

Open for business: World Bank to reinvest in palm oil amid criticism

News|14 April 2011

Early April saw the launch of the new World Bank Group strategy for engagement in the palm oil sector, which failed to resolve civil society concerns over several issues, including the rights of indigenous peoples and how performance standards will be applied across supply chains. read article...

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