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The IMF and PPPs: A master class in double-speak

Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

08 Apr 2019 15:21:37

While the IMF cautions against the fiscal risks of public-private partnerships (PPPs), the institution is simultaneously backing them at a country programme level and advocates austerity measures that push governments towards expanding PPPs through constrained budgets. The fiscal risks of PPPsAs far back as 2004, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) published a paper stressing that “one particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.”Concerns over the fiscal risks of PPPs have also underpinned the work of the IMF to quantify the macro-fiscal impact of PPP projects. ...

blog
Public private partnerships undermine gender equality and women's rights

Maria Romero

08 Mar 2019 12:54:26

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are being actively promoted by donor governments and international financial institutions to finance social services and infrastructure projects around the world.. PPPs are agreements where private sector companies replace the state as providers of traditional public services and infrastructure, such as health and education, transport, energy, and water and sanitation. With International Women’s Day and the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) fast approaching, now is the time to unpack how PPPs impact gender equality and women’s rights. Indeed, the risks and consequences associated with PPPs can undermine the achievement of governments’ commitments under Agenda 2030 to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ...

blog
Opinion: It's time to challenge the status quo in picking the World Bank president

Maria Romero

27 Feb 2019 16:02:44

At a time when the legitimacy of the World Bank as a development institution is at stake, countries from around the world are in the process of recruiting the new president of the institution. Any member of the World Bank can put forward a candidate. But since its founding, there has been a gentlemen’s agreement where the United States and its European allies work behind closed doors to ensure a U.S. citizen leads the World Bank, in exchange for the European leadership of the International Monetary Fund. The White House put forward David Malpass — a long-time critic of multilateralism — as its nominee for the institution’s next president, while Lebanon just put a new name on the table, Ziad Hayek, the only known challenger so far to Trump’s nominee. Challenge a failed model The leadership ...

press
European court rules that Belgium’s ‘sweetheart’ tax scheme is not state aid - exposes cracks in broken tax system

Brussels, 14 February 2019 - Today, the European Court of Justice ruled against the European Commission, which had alleged that the Belgian tax scheme, known as the ‘excess profit scheme,’ provided illegal state aid worth around €700 million to multinational corporations.The Belgian tax scheme allowed selected multinational corporations to discount large parts of their profits when paying corporate tax in Belgium. It has existed since 2005, and came into the spotlight in 2015, when the ...
The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Director, Jean Letitia Saldanha.  Jean takes over from interim Director Antonia Vorner at the end of April. She joins Eurodad from CIDSE, the ...

blog
The World Bank President we want: a time for new thinking on development finance

Maria Romero, Cecilia Gondard

17 Jan 2019 14:07:06

First published by Development Finance International  When Harvard-trained global health leader Jim Yong Kim took office as World Bank President in 2012, many thought he would put locally-anchored sustainable development and accountability at the centre of the World Bank’s approach. However, a critical look at his tenure, and his new workplace, raise many red flags. Now that most headline news is about the role Ivanka Trump will play, who the US nominates and the timeframe for nominations – which kick off in three weeks – it is crucial to clarify: who needs to be at the helm of the World Bank for the institution to serve its development mandate? And what kind of process, and eventually president, will serve to raise the legitimacy of the institution? Kim’s departure has been a ...

blog
G20 Summit in Buenos Aires: A non-event amidst citizen protests

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Tove Ryding

13 Dec 2018 16:26:12

By Bodo Ellmers, Maria José Romero and Tove Maria Ryding When the global financial crisis broke, the world looked to the G20 to find solutions. But as G20 leaders recently gathered in Buenos Aires 10 years on for their 2018 Summit, it was all too clear that ‘too big to fail banks’ have grown even bigger while we’re stuck with a vastly expanded shadow banking industry and a very worrying new wave of debt crises. Even though the G20 consider themselves to be the world’s major body for economic policy coordination, they are sleepwalking into the next crisis. Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that global debt levels have reached all-time highs and that the world economy is now even more highly leveraged than before the global financial crisis began a decade ...

blog
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 ...