Conditionality

Commentary

The IMF's new conditionality

18 February 2011

While the 2007-2010 crisis offered the International Monetary Fund an unexpected opportunity to demonstrate that it was serious about changing its emergency lending practices, Daniela Gabor argues that in Eastern Europe the Fund ended up pushing unnecessary fiscal austerity and privileging private financial interests.

IFI governance

News

'Groupthink' IMF slammed for mistakes before crisis

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) found major IMF lapses in judgement before the financial crisis, including the promotion of "light-touch regulation", casting doubt on the Fund's ability to contribute to taming global finance.

17 February 2011

Rights

News

World Bank corners climate funds?

As governments reached an agreement at the climate negotiations in Cancun in December, the World Bank continued to stir controversy as it attained a role in a new global climate fund, launched new carbon market initiatives, and touted the success of the controversial Climate Investment Funds.

17 February 2011

IFI governance

News

Dollar debate continues

In January, French president Nicholas Sarkozy stoked the debate about reforming the international monetary system while deliberations on the potential future role of the IMF’s special drawing right as a prototype global reserve currency continued.

17 February 2011

Land

News

For the love of markets

As record high food prices have contributed to unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and beyond, the World Bank's unwavering faith in markets has stirred debate about how best to address the multitude of factors underlying a global crisis in food prices. Meanwhile, World Bank president Robert Zoellick continues to champion efforts to bring agriculture into carbon markets.

18 February 2011

Rights

News

IFC standards revision leaves out human rights

As the review of the performance standards of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC), the World Bank's private sector lending arm, enters the last stretch, civil society groups are up in arms about the latest draft, which has taken steps backward, particularly in relation to the inclusion of human rights.

18 February 2011

IFI governance

News

Donor IDA pledges fall flat

The World Bank gained a 12 per cent inflation adjusted increase from the 16th fundraising round for its low-income country arm, the International Development Association (IDA), despite flat donor contributions, amid renewed criticism of its overall approach.

17 February 2011

Knowledge

Background

Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF 2010

Recommendations from Bretton Woods Project staff on the best papers, books and electronic resources of 2010.

17 February 2011 | Resource

Environment

Commentary

Bankspeak of the year 2010

Annual Bretton Woods Project award for the most incomprehensible or absurd use of language in a Bank or Fund document or speech.

17 February 2011 | Humour

Accountability

Background

The IFI's approach to tax avoidance and evasion

The World Bank and the IMF formally recognise tax avoidance and evasion as a critical problem for developing countries' domestic resource mobilisation. The Bank's public position on tax evasion and tax havens does not however identify concrete measures to stop investing in companies practicing tax avoidance. The IMF addresses tax policy under its surveillance mandate and in its technical assistance, but does not have an explicit framework to deal with tax evasion.

17 February 2011 | Inside the institutions

Rights

News

IMF serious about measuring conditionality impacts?

More criticism emerged of IMF programmes as it begins the process of another conditionality review. Political upheaval in Ireland and continued protests in Greece are focussing attention on the IMF's controversial economic policy advice.

17 February 2011

Rights

News

IFIs labour pains

Critics say IMF policy contributed to fuelling unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, while the IFIs reiterate concern about growing inequality and global unemployment. At the same time unions accuse the World Bank's Paying Taxes report of condemning tax and social contributions.

17 February 2011

Infrastructure

News

Heat turned up on World Bank energy strategy

As the Bank's energy strategy approaches finalisation in mid 2011 pressure is growing on the institution to incorporate criticism by civil society groups of its current lending practices.

11 February 2011