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Bretton Woods Update No.80 March/April 2012

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

New World Bank president: what's on the agenda?

News|5 April 2012

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

An unprecedented competition for the presidency of the World Bank, with two highly experienced developing country candidates nominated in addition to the US candidate, has raised demands for reform of the Bank's approach to middle-income countries, human rights, environmental issues, and the private sector, among others. read article...

Building alternatives BRICS by BRICS

News|5 April 2012

With the future of the World Bank up for grabs in the presidency race and the IMF facing a resource crunch, many developing countries are pursuing alternatives to the Washington-based lenders, with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa even mooting a joint BRICS Bank. read article...

IFIs and labour markets some things never change

by Adhemar Mineiro

Comment|5 April 2012

The G20 has ensured that the IFIs are receiving increasing resources to deal with the economic crisis. However, the institutions are resisting the drive to find new paths for world development, particularly for ensuring jobs and employment, and instead remain attached to dogmatic liberal principles and recommend the same old-fashioned liberalisation proposals that have driven the world economy to the deepest crisis since the 1930s. read article...

IFIs labour approach “will get us in trouble”

News|5 April 2012

With global unemployment at record high levels, the IFIs’ approach to employment is being criticised for still encouraging countries to lower labour protections. read article...

IMF's approach to financial regulation "behind the curve"

News|5 April 2012

While the IMF's strategic plan for boosting its financial sector surveillance has not been published, the Fund continues to argue that developing countries need more liberal financial systems. read article...

IEG finds World Bank not well adapted to crisis lending

News|5 April 2012

The final report of the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group's (IEG, the Bank's arms-length evaluation unit) assessment of the Bank's response to the 2008/09 global economic crisis confirms that Bank measures followed pre-crisis patterns and often failed to reach those most affected, leaving the Bank vulnerable to future crises. read article...

The World Bank and agriculture

by Alexandra Peck

Inside the inst|5 April 2012

Agriculture re-emerged in the last decade as a focus of World Bank Group lending, with the Bank claiming that "improving agricultural performance is the most powerful tool we have available to reduce global poverty and hunger." read article...

World Bank backs dirty energy despite objections

News|5 April 2012

Continued controversy over a coal power project in Kosovo, partly funded by the World Bank, and a catalogue of complaints over its projects highlight the impact of extractives and the lack of alternatives in the Banks energy lending portfolio. read article...

Nature on the market? The World Bank at Rio+20

News|5 April 2012

The Bank will showcase new initiatives on oceans and the valuation of ecosystem services at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in Brazil in late June, but is attracting criticism from civil society groups for its approach to 'green growth'. read article...

False solutions? The IFC, private equity and climate finance

News|5 April 2012

As the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank's private-sector arm, announces new investments in its climate-focused private equity fund, critics argue that investing scarce public climate funds in the financial sector is of unproven effectiveness, will miss the world's poorest regions and has questionable developmental impacts. read article...

Capital flows: IMF guidelines criticised

News|5 April 2012

The current surge of capital flows to emerging markets continues to challenge the IMF’s historical position regarding capital account regulation and exchange rate policies, with the Fund’s policy framework being criticised by academics and emerging markets. read article...

World Bank views on poverty "econocentric"

News|5 April 2012

As the World Bank released its latest global poverty estimates, critics warn of the data's shortcomings and how it compromises the understanding of the issue. read article...

IMF in Europe: doomed to fail?

News|5 April 2012

The IMF has scaled back its percentage stake in the Greek loan package but remains assertive in the eurozone, calling for more austerity raising questions over whether periphery nations will play along. read article...

IMF policy recommendations Not enough change after the crisis

by Rathin Roy and Raquel A. Ramos

At Issue|27 March 2012

IMF policy recommendations are often criticised for being too restrictive, procyclical and paying little attention to country-specific circumstances. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the Fund showed some policy rethinking, bringing about expectations of change. However, Rathin Roy and Raquel A. Ramos of the UNDP Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth analyse IMF policy recommendations given to developing countries and conclude that headquarters' receptiveness to new approaches has not been translated into policy analysis or recommendations. read article...

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