For years, IMF staffers, some of Washington’s highest-paid workers, have been enjoying haute cuisine at cut-rate prices. Frugal friends from the World Bank have also been spotted at the Fund trough since their subsidized lunch was axed in 1995. In the spirit of Labour Day solidarity, the IMF stopped subsidising the food at its cafeteria on May 1. “With this bitter pill, the fund is getting a taste of its own medicine,” the February issue of the IMF Staff News lamented. But don’t send your donations of canned goods to the IMF food drive just yet – in addition to generous pay rates, monetary allowances for spouses, tuition for children’s private schooling, air fares home and a host of other perks, many IMF staffers also pay no income taxes.
In the news
In December 2013, the German Development Institute, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Bretton Woods Project, in collaboration with the G-24, hosted a high-level workshop in Berlin to foster an open exchange on the profound changes in the global economy and the implications for global economic governance and its constituent institutions and members.
Last year BRICS' leaders agreed to launch a BRICS development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the World Bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).