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Brics Agree to Base Development Bank in Shanghai - WSJ
By JEFFREY T. LEWIS and PAULO TREVISANI CONNECT
Updated July 15, 2014

The Brics and other emerging-market countries have vast needs for financing of infrastructure projects, according to the chief executive of Brazilian development bank BNDES, who estimated the need for long-term project finance at about $800 billion.

The new institution, whose first chief executive will be from India, will start out with capital of $50 billion, to be paid in equally by all five Brics countries. Capital is planned to grow eventually to $100 billion, according to the memorandum released after the meeting in Brazil of the heads of government of the five countries.

The Brics have been trying for years to reform the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the backbone of the world's global financial structure, to give emerging markets more influence over those institutions, but with little success.

"In the IMF and the World Bank, the U.S. and a handful of allies really do make almost all the decisions, and the vast majority of the world…doesn't really have a voice," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. "The fund has lost most of its influence on the middle-income country in the last 15 years. This is part of the process of change in these international institutions."

The Brics countries on Tuesday called on the members of the IMF to implement reforms to the organization that were agreed on in 2010, and for members to agree to a new formula for voting rights at the IMF.

The World Bank finances development projects around the world, and the IMF is the lender of last resort to countries that don't have the dollars to pay their foreign debt. The IMF in particular is widely disliked among countries that need its help, because of the stringent budget control conditions it usually places on governments in return for its help.
economic_development  BRIC  Vladimir_Putin  IMF  World_Bank  infrastructure 
july 2014 by jerryking
The ‘new cold war’ is an information war -
Aug. 25 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Anne-Marie Slaughter.
In the many manifestations of the ongoing and growing information war(s), the pro-freedom-of-information forces need a new weapon. A government’s banning of journalists or blocking of news and social-media sites that were previously allowed should be regarded as an early warning sign of a crisis meriting international scrutiny. The presumption should be that governments with nothing to hide have nothing to lose by allowing their citizens and internationally recognized media to report on their actions.

To give this presumption teeth, it should be included in international trade and investment agreements. Imagine if the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and regional development banks suspended financing as soon as a government pulled down an information curtain. Suppose foreign investors wrote contracts providing that the expulsion and banning of foreign journalists or widespread blocking of access to international news sources and social media constituted a sign of political risk sufficient to suspend investor obligations.

Americans say that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Citizens’ access to information is an essential tool to hold governments accountable. Government efforts to manipulate or block information should be presumed to be an abuse of power – one intended to mask many other abuses.
accountability  information_flows  information  journalists  censorship  political_risk  warning_signs  freedom_of_information  information_warfare  IMF  World_Bank  Anne-Marie_Slaughter  presumptions  transparency 
august 2012 by jerryking
Liberate Africa From Its Political Elites - WSJ.com
July 5, 2005 | WSJ | By MOELETSI MBEKI.

African political elites have systematically exploited their positions in order to line their own pockets. They have given favors and won influence through the funding of huge loss-making industrialization projects. They have exploited the natural resources of their countries and then transferred profits, taxes, and aid funds into their own foreign bank accounts at the same time that they ran up enormous debts to finance their governments' operations.

What were the results of those predatory policies? According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have become Africa's fairy godparents, Africans are poor and getting poorer.
Africa  political_elites  crony_capitalism  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  corruption  poor_governance  IMF  World_Bank  poverty 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
Policy Brief: Strengthening Agriculture Marketing with ICT (ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook forum #1) | e-Agriculture
The World Bank, in collaboration with the e-Agriculture Community and FAO, is holding a series of online forums. These forums stem from the launch of the World Bank's ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook and the growing demand for knowledge on how to use ICT to improve agricultural productivity and raise smallholder incomes.

The first forum in this series focused on how ICT can improve agricultural marketing in developing countries. It took place 5-16 December 2011, and Sourcebook module 9 set the stage for the discussion. Forum participants looked into the most promising trends and challenges in ICT use (particularly mobile phones) for short- and long-term market information, agri-inputs, logistics and transport.

This summary document captures that discussion.
World_Bank  marketing  agriculture  mobile_phones  3rdWorld  developing_countries 
june 2012 by jerryking
Human capital flight  - Stabroek News - Guyana
Human capital flight
By Stabroek staff | 8 Comments | Editorial | Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Five years ago a World Bank study found that seven of the ten countries with the highest emigration rates for college students were in the Caribbean. Guyana held the unenviable top spot with a jaw-dropping 89 per cent. Those rates and the flight of human capital they indicate, the so-called ‘brain-drain,’ have undoubtedly worsened since, even though immigration to Europe, North America and elsewhere has become far more difficult. Two years ago another World Bank report found that nearly three-quarters of the nurses trained in the anglophone Caribbean end up working in the Britain, Canada or the United States."
brain_drain  emigration  guyana  human_capital  Caribbean  World_Bank 
march 2012 by jerryking
The Hazards of Throwing Money at the Problem - WSJ.com
JULY 18, 2001

By BRUCE BARTLETT
"The Elusive Quest for Growth" (MIT, 342 pages, $29.95) by the economist William Easterly.....Easterly works at the World Bank. But his real concern is not with his employer or with the International Monetary Fund, although he is critical of both institutions. Rather, he wants to address the whole question of economic growth: Where does it come from? What encourages it? What discourages it? How important is luck? How important is policy? The answers he gives, in certain respects, apply as much to advanced economies like the U.S., Germany and Japan as to the developing nations of Africa and Asia....
Simply giving capital to those without it -- i.e., foreign aid -- is unlikely to stimulate growth. What is really essential is knowledge, and that cannot be transmitted by writing a check. Nor can it be gained just by sending people to school. In fact, critical knowledge, the kind those Bangladeshi textile workers seized upon, is not easily identifiable in the abstract. First entrepreneurs must perceive an opportunity for profit; then a few opportunistic people will see what knowledge is required. And then more will.

Without a proper understanding of such things, a good deal of damage can be done.
World_Bank  foreign_aid  book_reviews  entrepreneurship  IMF  policy  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
Dr. Wolfowitz, I Presume - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 24, 2005 | WSJ | By PAUL A. GIGOT.

Leon Louw, the South African economist, says that in the past 30 years the world has poured $450 billion of aid into Africa, but that average per capita income is lower than it was in the late 1960s. According to the World Bank's data, 39% of sub-Saharan Africa's private wealth was somewhere other than Africa in 1990 -- compared to 3% for South Asia, and only 10% even for Latin America.

Why invest in Africa if Africans won't? "It's a very fair question, and I think part of the answer is to deal with the kinds of regulations and taxes that I've been talking about," Mr. Wolfowitz says. "I'm absolutely sure that part of the answer is dealing with the corruption factor."
interviews  Paul_Wolfowitz  entrepreneurship  World_Bank  Africa  corruption  organizational_culture 
october 2011 by jerryking
World Bank Is Opening Its Treasure Chest of Data
July 2, 2011 | NYT|By STEPHANIE STROM. The World Bank’s
traditional role has been to finance specific projects that foster eco.
dvlpmnt,...it might come as a surprise that its president , Robert
Zoellick, argues that the most valuable currency of the WB isn’t its $—
it is its information. ...For > a yr, the WB has been releasing its
prized data sets, currently giving public access to more than 7,000 that
were previously available only to some 140,000 subscribers — mostly
govts & researchers, who paid for access. ...Those data sets contain
all sorts of info. about the developing world, whether workaday
economic stats — GDP, CPI & the like — or arcana like the # of women
are breast-feeding their children in rural Peru.

It is a trove unlike anything else in the world, and, it turns out,
highly valuable. For whatever its accuracy or biases, this data defines
the economic reality of billions of people and is used in making
policies & decisions that enormously impact their lives.
World_Bank  information_flows  data  databases  massive_data_sets  transparency  open_source  Robert_Zoellick  crowdsourcing  mashups  datasets  decision_making  policymaking  developing_countries 
july 2011 by jerryking
Architect of Vietnam war dies
Jul. 06, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | Pete Yost and Mike Feinsilber. Obit for Robert McNamara
Vietnam_War  obituaries  World_Bank  Robert_McNamara  SecDef 
july 2009 by jerryking

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