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Bretton Woods Update No.79 January/February 2012

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

World Bank or US Bank? President selection debate launched

News|7 February 2012

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

Rumours that Robert Zoellick will not seek another term as World Bank president after his term ends in June have thrown open the debate about leadership selection at the Bank. read article...

IMF in a euromess?

News|3 February 2012

The IMF responds to calls from European leaders to get more involved in the European debt crisis through greater lending to the region, however, the austerity policies being demanded are stoking further criticism from civil society organisations. read article...

IMF from Argentina to Greece: similar but different

by Pablo Nemiña

Comment|7 February 2012

The economic crisis in Argentina in 2001 and Greece today share both similarities and differences, so we should be wary of stretching the comparison. read article...

IFC's private equity investments cause controversy

News|7 February 2012

The increasing use of private equity (PE) firms as conduits for World Bank lending continues to stoke controversy. read article...

IMF and capital flows: all talk, no solution

News|7 February 2012

As the IMF and Bank of England predict that increasing volatility of global capital flows will motivate widespread use of capital controls, academics and civil society organisations are calling for coordinated global solutions. read article...

IMF resources: quota, NAB and GAB

Inside the inst|7 February 2012

One of the IMF's three roles is lending to members countries with balance of payments difficulties, using resources provided by its other members. Generally, these resources come in two forms: quota contributions tied to voting rights in the institution, and bilateral contributions which do not affect countries' voting rights. read article...

On a carbon market mission The World Bank at the Durban climate summit

News|7 February 2012

While steaming ahead with new carbon market initiatives, the World Bank attracted further criticism and suffered potential setbacks on agriculture and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the UN climate negotiations in Durban. read article...

Harvesting controversy World Bank's agriculture projects under scrutiny

News|7 February 2012

While the Bank prepares to revise its agriculture strategy, its focus on market liberalisation is criticised, its own complaints bodies issue damning reports on agriculture projects in Peru and Papua New Guinea, and critics fault its gender focus. read article...

Green light for revised PforR, but concerns remain

News|7 February 2012

The World Bank board has approved the controversial new Program-for-Results (PforR) lending instrument, with some concessions to criticism. read article...

Unsafe haven? New IFC tax haven policy questioned

by María José Romero

News|7 February 2012

A new report finds widespread use of tax havens by World Bank clients, while the new Bank policy is criticised for having major loopholes. read article...

New World Bank infrastructure strategy Paving over development?

News|7 February 2012

A World Bank infrastructure strategy update, developed because of a G20 push for more infrastructure investment, reaffirms the Bank's commitment to large-scale projects and scaled up private finance through public-private partnerships (PPPs, see Update 77), despite questions about bloated costs and development impact. read article...

The World Bank and extractives: a rich seam of controversy

News|7 February 2012

As World Bank projects fail to reduce corruption in the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), International Financial Corporation (IFC) investments in extractives are provoking complaints and protests around the world. read article...

Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF 2011

Resource|7 February 2012

Recommendations from Bretton Woods Project staff on the best papers, books and electronic resources of 2011. read article...

Gender WDR Limits, gaps, and fudges

by Kate Bedford

At Issue|8 February 2012

The 2012 World Development Report is a watershed moment: it is the first time that the World Bank, the world's largest and most influential development institution, has devoted its flagship publication to gender. Kate Bedford of the University of Kent argues that the report leaves the Bank failing to face up to its role in perpetuating policies that harm women, and is seriously limited in its approach to women's movements, markets, and households. read article...

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New website launched

You are now browsing an archive version of the Bretton Woods Project's website. This site has not been updated since September 2013, but may be used for reference material as the nbew site is being developed. However we suggest you look at the new website:

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

Climate Investment Funds Monitor 7: April 2013  25 April 2013

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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