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Annual Meetings round-up: As uncertainty reigns in the global economy, there are strong calls for a rethink of Fund and Bank policies

Maria Romero, Mark Perera, Gino Brunswijck

16 Oct 2018 15:22:45

With the country still reeling from the devastation of the Sulawesi tsunami, Indonesia played host to the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG), in Bali last week. The sobriety of the moment was reflected in gloomy forecasts from the IMF, which issued stark warnings of debt and trade risks to global growth. Meanwhile, controversy surrounded the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index; the 2019 World Development Report; and the ‘private finance first’ approach at the core of the Bank’s Maximising Finance for Development. CSOs and academics raised their voices to shine a light on the risks that the policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) posed to human rights and sustainable development across the Global South. Eurodad presented new ...

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Argentina: 20 años después, ¿realmente han cambiado los métodos del FMI?

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

02 Aug 2018 10:33:27

This is a Spanish version of the article: Argentina: 20 years on, has the IMF really changed its ways? It has been initially published at FARN website.En julio, los argentinos experimentaron un déjà vu con los anuncios del gobierno de despidos masivos y congelamiento de salarios como parte de las medidas de ajuste ligadas a un préstamo del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). Miles de funcionarios públicos se ven obligados una vez más a asumir duras medidas de austeridad. De acuerdo con el programa del FMI se introducirán medidas selectivas de asistencia social para compensar la situación. La crisis financiera que azota el país y el retorno al Fondo traen malos recuerdos a muchos argentinos que no olvidan el año 2001, en que las políticas ...

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Argentina: 20 years on, has the IMF really changed its ways?

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

24 Jul 2018 09:44:46

This article has also been published by Triple Crisis. Argentinians are experiencing deja-vu this month as the government announces massive layoffs and a hiring freeze as part of an adjustment package attached to a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Thousands of public servants are being forced yet again to swallow the bitter pill of austerity, which the IMF programme - published last Friday - aims to patch up through increased targeted social assistance. For many Argentinians the financial crisis gripping the country, and the return to the Fund, brings back bad memories of 2001. Then, IMF-induced policies triggered the worst economic meltdown in Argentinian history. A cocktail of austerity measures contributed to the contraction of economic activity with a loss of 20 % ...

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IMF conditionality: still undermining healthcare & social protection?

Jesse Griffiths, Gino Brunswijck

07 May 2018 11:28:22

The IMF tried last year to counter long-running accusations that its lending and advice programmes damage health outcomes in developing countries, but the independent evidence points in the opposite direction. The question is whether the IMF will use this year’s reviews of its conditionality and of lending facilities for low-income countries (LICs) to switch approach and start helping  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” The IMF claims to protect health expenditure An IMF blog from March last year claimed that: “A number of studies have found that IMF support for countries’ reforms, on average, either preserve or increase public health spending.” However, the evidence provided was weak. Of the six ...
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank took place amid warnings of a ‘borrowed boom’ as an uptick in global growth was matched by global debt levels reaching record highs. The World Bank Group shareholders stumped up for an increase in the ...

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IMF conditionality: still undermining healthcare?

Jesse Griffiths, Gino Brunswijck

12 Apr 2018 16:16:07

The article was initially published in the Global Health Check. Last year, the IMF tried to counter long-running accusations that its programmes damage health outcomes in developing countries, but the independent evidence points in the opposite direction. The question is whether the IMF will use this year’s reviews of its lending to switch approach and start helping Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” The IMF claims to protect health expenditure An IMF blog from March last year claimed that: “A number of studies have found that IMF support for countries’ reforms, on average, either preserve or increase public health spending.” However, the evidence provided was weak. Of the six studies referenced, ...

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The Doing Business Report: a longstanding controversy

Gino Brunswijck

01 Feb 2018 11:11:21

Recent criticism of Chile’s ranking in the Doing Business Report (DBR) has once again put the report in the spotlight, with renewed calls for scrapping the highly controversial annual World Bank publication. Over the years Eurodad has consistently demanded an end to the DBR because of its lack of scientific rigour and biased policy orientation.   The DBR has been published each year since 2002, ranking countries on 11 indicators which measure the ‘ease of doing business’. The indicators are intended to measure the impact of business regulations - such as registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders - on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The report is highly influential and gets considerable media coverage. It has recorded nearly 3200 business reforms ...