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Reform of the IMF lending framework: The IMF bails out from bailouts

Bodo Ellmers

02 Feb 2016 10:40:28

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a new reform of its exceptional access framework. The key step made on 29 January 2016 is to remove the systemic exemption clause. This is the clause that has made IMF participation in the mega bailout of private creditors in Greece possible. It created the situation that Greece is now indebted mainly to official creditors, while banks and other creditors have recovered most of their money. However, the reform is no guarantee that publicly funded bailouts will no longer happen. It just transfers the task from the IMF to other official creditors, in Europe to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The huge Troika-funded bailout of Greece’s private creditors caused a lot of outrage: European citizens complained that they were being held ...
The IMF and World Bank spring meetings, which used to be a major forum for global economic decision making, end today with few concrete outcomes, the Bank under fire for its human rights and environmental record, and the IMF still unable to make any progress ...

Is the IMF heading for a governance crisis?

Jesse Griffiths

02 Apr 2015 11:03:37

It appears that IMF governance reform is heading towards a near certain crisis. 2015 should mark the completion of the Fifteenth review of IMF quotas, which affect the voting share of IMF members. However, the Fourteenth Review has not yet been ratified, as the US Congress has blocked it – the US’s 16.85% voting share gives it a de facto veto on any decisions requiring an 85% majority of votes. It seems highly unlikely that anything will change to alter this scenario, and 2015 will end with the Fourteenth review unratified. Can a new quota reform with any credibility really be agreed in this environment?  We should also remember that quota reforms have traditionally been highly political affairs with states taking positions on the basis of how changes will affect their voting ...
Last weekend, G20 Finance Ministers met in Turkey, and although the resulting communiqué covers a whole host of issues, it is becoming clear that two areas dominate in terms of actual work planned this year: infrastructure financing and financial ...
The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has released its report on the IMF response to the financial and economic crisis. Assessing the years from 2008 to 2013, the report finds that the IMF has violated principles of uniform treatment of member ...

Troika under scrutiny: European Parliament joins CSOs

Bodo Ellmers

29 Jan 2014 17:24:44

The times when the Troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) could operate in the dark and on extralegal grounds seem almost over. The European Parliament just released its draft enquiry report on the role and operations of the Troika with regard to the euro area progamme countries. The report criticises the “generally weak accountability” of the Troika and the “lack of transparency” in negotiations with programme countries. The Parliament points out that there was no appropriate legal basis for setting up the Troika, and that the programme conditions did not pay respect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.  This report – welcomed by Eurodad - complements recent civil society initiatives to hold ...

IMF Annual Meetings: A public sector shutdown meets its master

Bodo Ellmers

03 Oct 2013 12:44:28

IMF Annual Meetings: A public sector shutdown meets its master By Bodo Ellmers When the delegations arrive in Washington next week for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, they will face a situation that the citizens of IMF programme countries know all too well: The public sector has shut down due to a debt crisis and the policy response that followed. Let’s see if this helps to make the governors of the international financial architecture’s most powerful institution learn some lessons and make the right decisions. Welcome to the IMF’s first Annual Austerity Meeting The good news for the IMF: Absenteeism from the Annual Meetings will be much lower than usual as sight-seeing options in Washington are currently limited. ...
By Bodo Ellmers As the United Nations moves rapidly towards alternative proposals to sovereign debt work-out, it seems that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not want to be sidelined on the issue. A ground-breaking new IMF study that has just ...

The World Social Forum reviews debt and taxes: who pays, who profits and why?

Francesca Giubilo

11 Apr 2013 13:03:34

By Bodo Ellmers While most of the world’s population was reeling from one of the globe’s multiple crises, social movements and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gathered at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunisia last month in search of alternatives. The country where the Arab Spring started in late 2010 was a great choice to host the WSF in 2013. Inspired by the successful campaign to overthrow the autocratic regime of Ben Ali three years ago, Tunisian civil society is amazingly active, highly motivated and convinced that civil society activism can actually make social change happen. Tunisia: microcosm of a defunct financial regime However, the Tunisian experience also shows that activism on a national level needs to be complemented by international solidarity and cooperation because ...