The economic crisis in Argentina in 2001 and Greece today share both similarities and differences, so we should be wary of stretching the comparison.
New research claims World Bank Group's policies facilitate land grabs in Africa and favour the interests of financial markets over food security and environmental protection.
In early May, more than 400 activists in Greece and campaigners and academics from across the world met in Athens to confront the current debt crisis of the European periphery and plan international solidarity and coordinated action against fiscal austerity imposed by governments.
Controversy over the Botnia paper mill, which was part financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm, continues as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Uruguay breached regional treaty obligations by failing to properly inform neighbouring Argentina when authorising its construction.
The descent of Greece into a sovereign debt crisis marks the first time a country that uses the euro has gone to the IMF. The fear of adverse market reaction has now moved Europe towards greater coordination and the G20 to argue against continued fiscal stimulus.
The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is facing an explosion of cases and increasingly vocal criticism from Latin American countries. Questions remain over whether it helps channel productive investment to developing countries or serves as a tool for multinational corporations to get their way.
Despite the political victory of transformative forces in South America, differences of opinion over the direction of the Bank of the South, a new regional development bank, may slow progress towards developing an autonomous alternative to the World Bank and IMF-dominated international financial architecture.
Since Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner assumed the presidency in December the Fund has been involved with the renegotiation of Argentinean debt with the Paris Club and a controversy over official statistics.
Minutes before cutting the ribbon of inauguration for the IFC-funded pulp mill owned by Finnish Company Oy Metsa Botnia in Uruguay at the start of November, Erikki Varis, CEO of the Finnish company was ordered to hold off by the Spanish government
Argentine president Nestor Kirchner and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced 21 February that the two governments would establish a Bank of the South within 120 days.
IFC-commissioned impact assessment has found few environmental and social risks posed by the pulp and paper mills being built by Finland’s Botnia and Spain’s ENCE in the Uruguayan town of Fray Bentos.
The IFC and MIGA have been unable to manage the international dispute created by their proposed investment in two pulp and paper mills in Uruguay, and show no signs of setting a board date for considering Bank support.