IFIs Latin American Monitor - July, 2009


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-> QUITO DECLARATION - On finance for Living Well and the enforcement of Nature's Rights
The construction of a new regional financial architecture calls for a resolute and strong inclusion of an environmental outlook. If the latter is absent or relegated to a merely testimonial and technical role, the procedures and problems of classical financial institutions – whose environmental and socioenvironmental negative effects have been widely documented – shall be certainly reproduced.

Declaration drawn up within the framework of the discussion on a new regional financial architecture and the inclusion of an environmental dimension into the Bank of the South.

ADHERENCES: To express your institucional or individual adherence, please write to: declaracionquito@gmail.com

Read full declaration: http://www.choike.org/2009/eng/ifis/informes/1082.html


-> 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.


->The Seminar "Environment and new financial architecture" was held in Quito
From August 4-6, the seminar-workshop "Environment and New Financial Architecture" was held in Quito, Ecuador, under the auspices of the government of Ecuador and international agencies of the United Nations system, with the participation of Latin American experts. The seminar aimed to contribute to the creation of an environmental impact assessment in development projects of the Bank of the South and to seek financial mechanisms that would favour the environment within the framework of a new international financial architecture.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor

->The potential development implications of enhancing the IMF’s resources
The commitments provided to the IMF by the G20 may bring both risks and benefits for developing countries. While some countries may get access to conditionality-free resources through the new Flexible Credit Line (FCL), this small number of countries and small amount of resources may not be enough in case of a full-scale capital account crisis. The resources will not likely be enough to meet the massive financing gap faced by developing countries this year. And most countries will likely be pushed into pro-cyclical economic policies by the IMF if they attempt to access the IMF’s expanded resources.
Source: Bretton Woods Project

->The IMF Reform: Aged wine in new wineskin
Jamaica is set to re-enter a borrowing relationship with the IMF and, understandably, there are concerns about the conditionalities which will apply to secure a short-term balance of payment support through the Fund's Stand-By Arrangements. These concerns are rooted in the bitter experiences of the 1970s when the IMF imposed a set of harsh conditionalities with devastating social, economic and political consequences for Jamaica. But it was not only Jamaica experience which informed us; for certainly in the last 10 to 15 years the crises in Asia, Argentina and Kenya provided further proof that the economic measures imposed by the IMF to stabilise economies and foster economic growth did not work.
Source: Jamaica Observer

->US FTAs: blocking the exit from debt crises at a time of global downturn?
The global economic crisis has led to renewed worries about the debt situation in developing countries, which will reportedly have to roll over more than USD 3 trillion in this year. This happens in an environment of scarce and expensive credit and while trade, the main source of foreign exchange that these countries rely upon to service their external debt, is seeing its worst contraction in more than 60 years. Compared to the magnitude of the solution that will be needed, the timid mechanisms implemented in the last several decades such as the HIPC/MDRI initiative, or the recent Debt Sustainability Framework do clearly not offer an applicable model.
Source: Center of Concern

->IDB ignores substance of civil society replenishment recommendations
For the past six months, the the Inter-American Development Bank’s management and 48 Member Countries have been assessing the prospects of a 9th replenishment. A proposal advanced by IDB in Santiago, Chile on July 2 to discuss an increase in ordinary capital by $100-$200 billion, which would triple Bank annual lending from an average of $US 6 billion since the last replenishment to a projected $16-19 billion per year. Nine CSOs from four countries issued a set of recommendations urging donor countries, in particular the U.S. Government, to insist on stronger commitments to sustainability and evidence-based results before considering the Bank’s unprecedented request. But the IDB sidesteps civil society concerns.
Source: Bank Information Center


->Beyond the world creditors’ cartel
One group of financiers seems to be doing nicely out of the global recession: the International Monetary Fund and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are enjoying a return to relevance and lining up for increased funding. But the issues at stake here go beyond the IFIs’ own agendas. On the one hand, their revival implies a reassertion of U.S. and global North dominance. They aren’t called "Washington–based" just as a matter of real estate: the United States has a 17% voting share on the IMF and World Bank, enough to give it a veto on some major changes; Europe and the United States control the top management positions. On the other hand, the story underscores how parts of the global South are gaining in economic power.
Source: Dollars & Sense magazine

>Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and the Global Reserve System
The International Monetary Fund will vote in August on a proposal to tap a resource that hasn't been used in 30 years in order to bolster the reserves of its 186 member countries by the unconditional allocation of $250 billion worth of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset and the fund's internal unit of account. An SDR allocation is good for developing countries, but it is worth to consider that in a general allocation, SDRs are distributed on the basis of countries' quotas in the IMF, which means the rich get most of them, so it would be better for developed countries. This paper presents some specific recommendations made by Action Aid on that hot issue. (pdf format)
Source: Action Aid

->The end of an era
The present financial and economic crisis marks the end of an era. Not only does it spell economic downturn, but it is shaking the very foundations of the economic and social consensus of the past 30 years. To correct the world economic imbalance, a new sharing of power and responsibility between industrialised and developing countries must now be examined.
Source: Alliance Sud

->The outcome of the 1st BRIC Summit: a derelict zero
The first-ever summit of the BRIC countries took place at Yekaterinburg at Russia on 16th June 2009 calling for a more diversified international monetary system. The core focus of the meeting, attended by President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese president Hu Jintao and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was to improve the current global financial situation, to discuss how the four countries could collectively work better in the future and to reform the financial institutions. At the end of the summit, the BRIC nations suggested the need for a new global reserve currency that is 'diversified, stable and predictable'.
Source: CADTM India

->Impact of the HIPC Initiative on Bolivia
This year will be ten years since the launch of the international debt cancellation campaign in favour of highly indebted poor countries. Although outstanding debts were reduced and debt service was alleviated, this measure had no impact on poverty reduction. Many countries, Bolivia among them, had to resort again to external credits in order to meet their financing needs. In view of the present crisis, the need to resort to external debt is quite predictable, with the current threat of internal debt and with more expensive conditions and conditionalities.
Source: Fundación Jubileo Bolivia


->US Congress should demand IMF reforms in the wake of large increase in IMF funding - Press release by New Rules for Global Finance

->Civil society organizations challenge IDB commitments to development results and sustainability

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7. NGOs

* 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.

* IFIs Monitor is an active member of IFIwatchnet. See http://www.ifiwatchnet.org

*** NGOs directory


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