In mid September, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (see Update 63) released its “Basel III” rules. José Vinals, director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department praised the regulations as “a substantial step forward in addressing the micro-prudential failings in the areas of capital and liquidity buffers in banks”. However, independent commentators disagreed. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times says that “Basel has laboured mightily and brought forth a mouse. Needless to say, the banking industry will insist the mouse is a tiger.” He adds that trebling of capital reserves “sounds tough”, but “trebling almost nothing does not give one very much.”
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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