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

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Bretton Woods Update No.85 March/April 2013

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BRICS challenge IFIs Out of the frying pan into the fire?

News|8 April 2013

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

Large middle-income countries jointly initiated alternatives to the World Bank and IMF in March, but advocates are not satisfied with either set of institutions. While challenge to the IMF has been welcomed, civil society actors fear that a new development bank would serve "vested interests" and could lead to "exploitation". read article...

New World Bank strategy accused of being "unambitious" and "cosmetic"

News|8 April 2013

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim's new overarching strategy on ending absolute poverty and creating shared prosperity elicits criticism for ineffectively tackling inequality and sustainability. read article...

Dr Kim, where is Mongolia's economic diversification?

by Sukhgerel Dugersuren

Comment|8 April 2013

In late February the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) boards decided to spearhead a $4 billion dollar syndicated loan to a copper, gold and silver mine located in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. An increasing number of people believe that it is going to lead Mongolia to dependence on one product and one corporation, driving the country into deep insecurity. read article...

Carbon capture World Bank's climate actions to "breathe new life" into carbon markets

News|8 April 2013

The World Bank has revealed details of its new climate change strategy, including promotion of carbon markets despite concerns from indigenous groups. While new conversations about the Bank's energy investments are anticipated, further criticisms were made over its involvement in fossil fuels and hydropower projects read article...

IDA 17: Back to big infrastructure, flirting with climate finance

News|8 April 2013

While donors and the World Bank focus on IDA structural reform, the proposed IDA shift towards financing infrastructure and climate adaptation raises concerns over development impacts. read article...

IFC Honduran client linked to death squads

News|8 April 2013

The International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank's private sector arm) loan to Honduran palm oil producer Corporación Dinant has come under increased scrutiny as new evidence submitted to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (the IFC's accountability mechanism) in late February revealed Dinant's links to repeated forced evictions and the killings of almost 90 local campesinos (peasant farmers) and their supporters. read article...

World Bank staff incentives

Inside the inst|8 April 2013

The World Bank Group's staff incentives and compensation schemes are considered important drivers of the Bank institution's successes and failures. read article...

India complains Doing Business "not robust"

News|8 April 2013

As an independent panel begun its review of the World Bank’s controversial Doing Business rankings, India’s public criticism of the rankings added weight to global governmental and civil society opposition. read article...

US deadlock stalls IMF governance reform

News|8 April 2013

The IMF governance debate goes beyond the mathematics of voting shares and representation, bringing to the fore critical questions about the Fund's legitimacy. read article...

IFIs on capital flows: new tune, same song?

News|8 April 2013

While the IMF-supported banking sector restructuring in Cyprus includes a strict set of restrictions on capital movements, the World Bank and IMF are failing to embrace a more pragmatic approach to capital account regulation. read article...

G20 working on international financial architecture, while the IMF "to bury its head in the sand"?

News|8 April 2013

The G20's agenda on the international financial architecture looks to tackle sovereign defaults, but not 'currency wars'. read article...

Democracy: "an enemy to the IMF"?

News|8 April 2013

The legitimacy of IMF engagement with Middle East and North African nations and eurozone crisis countries continues to be heavily criticised. read article...

Safeguards: World Bank urged to incorporate human rights commitments "in all of its activities"

News|8 April 2013

As the consultations on the World Bank's safeguards review progress, indigenous peoples groups and NGOs raised concerns over the process. There were also increased calls for the Bank to respect human rights in its policies, including a report from a UN Special Rapporteur. read article...

Cyprus - whose crisis?

by Petros Kosmas

Comment|28 March 2013

The economic crisis in Cyprus erupted during the second cycle of the European recession of 2011 as a result of harsh austerity policies imposed since 2010 in Europe. It is a new crisis born of a failed response to the original European crisis. 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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