While the World Bank has done a lot of work on financial sector reform, the IMF is also a key actor. Since facing criticism over its lack of understanding of financial markets in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the IMF has significantly increased its capacity for analysis of the financial sector.
As negotiations close over donations to the World Bank's financing arm for low income countries, civil society groups have expressed disappointment over the failure to make progress on conditionality, debt sustainability, allocation or impact assessment.
Despite concerns about the consequences of the credit market breakdown in rich countries spilling over into other countries, the IMF is nagging developing countries to open their capital accounts and looking to regulate sovereign wealth funds.
This briefing clarifies the landscape of programme conditions and project safeguards and what it implies for a move towards responsible lending standards.
With an increasing number of commentators asking whether and how the World Bank can remain relevant, chief economist Francois Bourguignon unveiled a draft overview of a 'long-term strategic exercise', and the IEG released an evaluation of the Bank's work in middle-income countries.
Together with the UN, the Bank has backed the Stolen Asset Recovery initiative to recoup the assets stolen from developing countries, estimated at up to $1.6 billion per year.
Shortly after IMF members agreed to a new bilateral surveillance framework on exchange rates in June it was undermined by the US and criticised by civil society. Now the US wants the Fund to start regulating sovereign wealth funds.
The IMF executive board agreed to revise the legal framework for bilateral surveillance in June with the final text incorporating many of the safeguards demanded by developing countries but still angering the Chinese.
In its annual report to parliament about the UK and the IMF, this year subtitled "Reform to delivery prosperity for all", the UK Treasury's most ambitious goal for 2007 is to revise the IMF's surveillance framework. While also setting out to build on the proposals for governance reform of the IMF, the report does not prioritise creating an open and merit-based process for selecting the managing director of the IMF, overhauling the transparency policy at the Fund, or grappling with the issue of w
Incomplete minutes of European CSO meeting with European IMF EDs, 13 April 2007