Privatizing the World Bank?

In a recent article entitled Reforming the World Bank: Creative Destruction (Foreign Affairs, January/February 2006), Jessica Einhorn, dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS, Johns Hopkins University), called for the disbandment of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Addressing her remarks to the World Bank's new president, Paul Wolfowitz [1] and its major funders, she called for an end to the bank's lending to middle-income countries, and for a focus instead on the poorer countries which have little or no access to private capital markets as credit sources for development financing. Einhorn, who retired in…

The International Economic System Under Globalisation: System problems and reform proposals in the monetary system Michael Sakbani

The overarching theme of this paper is that some parts of the international system have become, under globalisation, rather obsolete and some times mutually inconsistent. The system has shown itself incapable of anticipating or preventing financial crisis in a global economy and there is a glaring asymmetry in the treatment of source and recipient countries. Alternatives and reform ideas are suggested with full cognisance of their political feasibility and analytic soundness. monetary_system (Download the full text in PDF format)

The World Development Report 2006: Brief Review Sanjay G. Reddy

A tempting first reaction to the World Development Report 2006 (henceforth WDR 2006)[1], entitled Equity and Development, is that it represents a significant advance. Whereas previous WDRs (in particular WDR 1990 and 2000/01) had concerned themselves with the need to reduce the absolute disadvantages experienced by countries and by persons, WDR 2006 is the first WDR centrally to be concerned with relative inequalities between nations and between persons. Relative inequalities are viewed in WDR 2006 as concerns in themselves. The report defines equity as the requirement that "individuals should have equal opportunities to pursue a life of their choosing and…

On Economic and Social Life in Turkey in Early 2005 Independent Social Scientists

The paper traces the change in the economy and society in Turkey, which has been an inevitable result of the IMF and World Bank led structural adjustment policies that the country has been faithfully following for decades. The paper discusses how the resultant unemployment and poverty, coupled with the current dependence on international finance capital, could have significant adverse consequences for the political and economic fabric of the society, the rise of extreme political and religious ideologies among them. tsbd (Download the full text in PDF format)

New Man at the World Bank Arthur Macewan

Widely known as the architect of one of the most controversial U.S. wars, he became a symbol of an aggressive military approach to foreign affairs. Against widespread international opposition, he pushed ahead with an essentially unilateral U.S. military action in the name of "promoting democracy." Perhaps his most lasting legacy will be the perverted concept of destroying a country in order to save it. After his stint at the Department of Defense, he was selected by the U.S. president to head the World Bank. On the surface at least, it seemed a strange appointment. Here was a man thoroughly identified…

Insider Story on Crime and Empire C.P. Chandrasekhar

Book buyers in the US have obviously been lapping up the hard-back authored by John Perkins titled Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The book, which was published in November last year has found, to the surprise and dismay of some, a place in the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list in 7 out of 10 weeks between weeks-ending January 8 and March 12. Perkins, who came from a middle class background (his father was a school teacher), joined in 1971 the now-defunct but once-leading consultancy, Chas. T. Main (MAIN), which undertook studies to determine whether agencies like the World…

The Wolfowitz at the World Bank’s Door Jayati Ghosh

The second innings of George Bush Jr. at the White House promises to be more than just a replay of the first term, although that prospect alone would have been horrifying enough. Re-election has legitimised for the incumbent US President his most blatant and aggressive past actions. But it has done even more, in terms of imbuing new energy and confidence into the unilateralist and bullying agenda with which the Bush administration tends to take on all comers, both domestic and international. Certainly, the recent flexing of US muscles in international arenas provides adequate intimation of the more overtly interventionist…

Governance at the IMF C.P. Chandrasekhar

The IMF never tires of advising developing countries to improve their governance practices. No cronyism, more transparency and less corruption are the refrain of most policy documents released by the more powerful of the Bretton Woods twins. Yet the debate over the choice of a new Managing Director for that institution reveals its own adoption of a non-transparent, closed-door, "informal" process. That process is part of an arrangement between the US and Europe, which "accepts" that the chief of the Fund has to be a European, while the head of the World Bank should always be an American. The current…