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Bretton Woods Update No.81 June/July 2012

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

Eurozone meltdown: IMF providing "political cover"

News|3 July 2012

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

As European elections show the public increasingly rejecting austerity, critics call on the IMF to focus on the flaws of the eurozone rather than austerity in country programmes. read article...

New claims of rights abuses in World Bank-funded 'land grabs'

News|3 July 2012

As the World Bank held its Annual Conference on Land and Poverty in April, campaigners accused it once again of facilitating and legitimising 'land grabs' that harm local communities. read article...

An easy call: IFC should quit MRL mining project

by Edel Garingan

Comment|3 July 2012

The IFC should terminate its support to MRL's Philippine mining venture for not following their guidelines, and more than that, for ignoring the Philippine law concerning indigenous peoples. read article...

World Bank's 'green growth' approach denounced

News|3 July 2012

At the United Nations Rio+20 conference on sustainable development held in Brazil in late June, the World Bank promoted its 'green growth' approach despite concerns from civil society groups. read article...

IFI leaders talk jobs, but staff push labour deregulation

by Alexandra Peck

News|3 July 2012

International financial institutions increasingly recognise the negative impacts of austerity on labour markets, however, a disjuncture remains between their public pronouncements and their policies and practice. read article...

Revolving doors: staff turnover between IFIs and African governments

Inside the inst|3 July 2012

The term 'revolving doors' refers to frequent staff turnover between institutions, usually relevant when these represent different interests working on the same policy issues. This serves to foster cross-institutional networks, practices and alliances. The staff turnover between international financial institutions (IFIs) and borrowing governments works as a mechanism through which specific ideas and practices learnt and promoted in IFIs are translated into policies in borrowing countries. read article...

IFC "needs to try harder" on development

News|3 July 2012

NGOs continue to find that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm, is off track in reducing poverty and promoting development, with concerns that the IFC development goals to be implemented in July will not help the poorest. read article...

Will the IMF "make history" with a new view on capital flows?

News|22 June 2012

In October the Fund is expected to present in October an updated institutional view on capital account regulations. The most recent IMF paper on the topic received criticism for advocating for capital account liberalisation in China and India. Meanwhile emerging economies worry that the Fund's prescriptions still constrain their capacity to cope with global financial volatility. read article...

IMF contribution without representation?

News|3 July 2012

While the IMF has been promised another $456 billion to add to its coffers, large emerging markets are conditioning their contributions on governance reforms. Meanwhile, activists are calling for deeper changes in the way international institutions are governed. read article...

Access for the poor? World Bank's infrastructure approach under increased scrutiny

News|3 July 2012

As the G20 and the World Bank continue their push for increased investment in large-scale public-private led infrastructure projects, further scrutiny of the Bank's track record puts its strategy in question. read article...

IMF poverty focus challenged

News|3 July 2012

In the middle of a review of its lending facilities for low-income countries (LICs) and a funding drive for more concessional resources, the IMF is facing criticism over its conditionality and a review of its debt sustainability framework. read article...

Calls for halt of World Bank's climate initiatives

News|3 July 2012

NGOs have called on governments to pivot away from funding the Bank-housed Climate Investment Funds (CIFs). Concerns have also been raised about private sector delivery of climate finance and that the Bank's efforts to push carbon markets are undermining genuine reforms in the forest sector. read article...

Accountability squandered? World Bank should wait for justice in Cambodia

by Natalie Bugalski and David Pred

Comment|22 June 2012

Despite a 2011 victory in Cambodia, where a mass eviction in the centre of Phnom Penh was halted and remaining affected families finally gained legal title to the land they had been wrongly denied under a World Bank project, recent arrests have put justice in jeopardy and led to calls for a continued lending freeze by the Bank. read article...

Infrastructure as an asset class Financing development or developing finance?

by Nicholas Hildyard

At Issue|3 July 2012

A forthcoming report on private equity infrastructure funds by Nicholas Hildyard of NGO The Corner House, More than bricks and mortar, looks at the connections between infrastructure funding and international financial markets, and at the wider political project that infrastructure embodies. In this briefing, Hildyard argues that the transformation of infrastructure into an asset class has environmental and social implications far beyond what can be handled by stronger safeguards on investments. read article...

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