IN THIS EDITION:
-> 1. RSS Feed
-> 2. Events
-> 3. Information resources
-> 4. News
-> 5. Reports
-> 6. Statements
-> 7. NGOs
1. RSS Feed
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-> The G20 Summit - 2 April 2009. London, UK
The G20 – the Group of Twenty – consists of the worlds 19 largest economies (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the USA) plus the European Union. The countries provide 85% of the worlds economic output. On the 2 April 2009 world leaders gathered in London to address the global financial crisis. A series of mobilizations took place in London and around the world by social movements and civil society organizations demanding an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.
*** All events
3. INFORMATION RESOURCES
-> The global financial crisis: implications for the South
The past few months have seen one of the most significant financial crises in history that started in the United States and then spread to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. The financial system, its architecture and its institutions are being questioned and they need to be completely rethought.
->Latin America: Return to the IMF or reinforce alternatives?
The crisis is a global phenomenon that fails to forgive either regions or countries. The Institute of International Finance has forecast a dramatic reduction in private capital flows to emerging markets. While capital flows in 2007 amounted to $929 billion, they predict in 2009 flows will only reach $165 billion. Therefore, we are facing the possibility of a significant contraction of capital flows and investment in emerging economies. The question is how and by whom this contraction can be compensated.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
->Without IFIs, there are no tax havens
Two main agreements reached by the G20 in its recent meeting held in London that should be welcomed: The reliance on a renewed leadership of the IMF and Multilateral Development Banks to support the countries that will be affected by the world recession within a new regulatory framework of international finance; and the final elimination of tax havens all over the world, aiming at protecting fiscal income.
->World Bank's "environment" loan to Brazil: for what?
According to the World Bank, the latest 'programmatic environmental sustainability development policy loan project' loan is aimed at "key sectors such as forest management, water and renewable energy... and will integrate Brazil's climate change agenda across sectors". This is the largest loan ever granted to Brazil by the World Bank: $1.3 billion in its initial phase, to be increased in a following phase to a total of $2 billion. Although the loan is for the Brazillian treasury, loan documents reveal that it will go to the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES). The loan has been pushed forward without sufficient information being made available and without prior consultation with Brazilian civil society.
Source: Rede Brazil
->50th IDB Annual Meeting: Notes from Medellín
The 50th Annual Governors' Assembly of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) took place in Medellín, Colombia, 27-31 March 2009. This year civil society organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean organized a counter-Assembly to visualize the human and environmental costs of the failed "development" policies of the bank. As it was expected both events were totally different. In the official one President Moreno searched for more money to strengthen the role of the institution in the financial crisis. In the other event, civil society organizations, movements and local people explained the consequences of the failed development and asked what is the purpose of assigning more money to the same bank.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
->IDB financial losses and glaring lack of accountability invalidate replenishment request
There may be no less awkward or inappropriate moment to be asking for more public funding, yet the IDB has signaled to its Board and Donor countries that it will request additional capital funds as early as 2010. This article presents at least four fundamental reasons why a replenishment request should be ignored.
Source: Bank Information Center
->Stiglitz Commission finds lack of trade-finance coherence
The Commission of Experts on Monetary and Financial Reform, appointed by the President of the General Assembly last year and chaired by Nobel Prize-winner economist Joseph Stiglitz, released its preliminary report. Faithful to its terms of reference, which called on the Commission to bear in mind that "in an interdependent world, multilateral rules and regulations in trade, debt and finance will have to be mutually reinforcing", the report places on the agenda crucial and usually overlooked issues that lie at the intersection between trade, debt and finance.
Source: Center of Concern
->A development-blind G20 outcome that empowers an unreformed IMF
The only apparent financial commitment by the G20 summit was to announce the injection through various ways of $1.1 trillion dollars into the IMF and the World Bank Group (which includes the regional development banks). Due to the glaring absence of a political consensus among key G20 members on a coordinated fiscal stimulus plan, or regulation of cross-border financial flows, the only agreement on immediate action was to boost the resources of the international financial institutions whose decision-making has been controlled by the US and European countries since their creation.
Source: Third World Network
->G-20: Why support the IMF?
The G20 countries have come to agreement on a number of important steps to foster a recovery from the recession. However, since we always knew that they would come to "agreement", the substance of the deal is not entirely clear at this point. There are two areas where the nature of the agreement seems clearest: clamping down on tax havens and increased funding for the IMF.
->Gender justice missing in action at IDB
Gender justice remains a backseat priority at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Despite lofty promises made in 2003 to devote "greater attention to gender in all Bank work", the IDB has yet to update its archaic and obsolete 'Women in Development' (WID) policy established over two decades ago in 1987. For at least three years, the Bank has promised repeatedly to create a new and more effective 'Gender and Equality' policy. However no public documents exist to evidence the Bank's efforts.
Source: Gender Action
->Shielding the poorest from the global crisis: How IMF gold sales could generate $10 billion for poor country debt relief
All around the world, people are feeling the impact of the global economic crisis. The crisis threatens to re-ignite a debt crisis in the poorest nations: the IMF projects 31 low-income countries may be pushed into debt distress. The IMF has already increased its lending to developing (and some developed) countries in response to this crisis. As the crisis deepens, world leaders are expected to bestow an even greater role and additional funds on the IMF. Just over a year ago, the Fund was in a very different position. With long-time borrowers pre-paying and developing countries spurning the IMF’s advice, the IMF’s Board approved a plan to sell some of the Fund’s gold to finance its administrative budget. That proposal is still pending approval by the US Congress and other legislatures.
Source: Jubilee USA
->The G20 and the HIRCs
A group of seven highly indebted rich countries (HIRC) of the world organized a meeting of twenty nations in London in order to discuss the future of the world’s finances. They called to the table some creditor developing countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, some Arab countries, China and India but left aside all the other surplus countries in the world, creditors to the US and Europe. After all, the accumulation of export surpluses over a twenty year period is what has allowed deficit countries to overborrow to a total stock to the tune of about 200% of GDP average and growing fast.
* No IDB replenishment without reform, says coalition - Press release
* With Regard to the G20 Meeting - Statement by Latindadd
* Full text of BRIC countries joint communique at a G20 finance ministers' meeting
*** All Statements
* Rethinking Finance
Rethinking finance is a website of several international civil society organisations and individuals that put forward alternative ideas and analyses on the global financial crisis.
* Joint Bretton Woods Project Update Nº65
BWP launched a special edition of its Update for the IMF/WB Spring Meetings co-produced with Afrodad, the Bank Information Center, Choike, and Eurodad.
* IFIs Monitor is an active member of IFIwatchnet. See http://www.ifiwatchnet.org
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