New Bretton Woods Update (No.85) March/April 2013 out now

Jay Owen Reforming Global Finance

Bretton Woods Update No. 85
March/April 2013


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Please find below the highlights of the Bretton Woods Update No. 85(March/April 2013).

BRICS challenge IFIs: Out of the frying pan into the fire? 
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 More.

New World Bank strategy accused of being “unambitious” and “cosmetic” 
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim’s new overarching strategy on ending absolute poverty and creating shared properity elicits criticism for ineffectively tackling inequality and sustainability. Read More.

Carbon capture: World Bank’s climate actions to “breathe new life” into carbon markets 
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 More.

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

IFC Honduran client linked to death squads 
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 More.

India complains Doing Business “not robust” 
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 More.

US deadlock stalls IMF governance reform 
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 More.

IFIs on capital flows: new tune, same song? 
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 More.

G20 working on international financial architecture, while the IMF “to bury its head in the sand”? 
The G20’s agenda on the international financial architecture looks to tackle sovereign defaults, but not ‘currency wars’. Read More.

Democracy: “an enemy to the IMF”? 
The legitimacy of IMF engagement with Middle East and North African nations and eurozone crisis countries continues to be heavily criticised.Read More.

Safeguards: World Bank urged to incorporate human rights commitments “in all of its activities” 
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 More.

Additional articles included: