Financial crisis a boon for ECAs
While hefty public bailouts of the financial and auto industries have stimulated debate on the role of governments in commercial markets, one form of government subsidy has flown beneath the proverbial radar: export credit. Confronted by an increasingly dire financial crisis, Western governments are using their export credit agencies (ECAs) to boost liquidity and rescue faltering industries. At an extraordinary World Trade Organization meeting last month, participating governments reported a 30% increase in ECA business over the previous 12 months. The WTO called for even greater reliance on public credit to lessen the burden on commercial banks. Shortly afterwards, the OECD announced an agreement with non-members, including Russia and Brazil, to provide markets with publicly-sourced export credit.
Financial crisis a boon for ECAs
IMF back in business, but still politically bankrupt
Even before US President George Bush announced plans for next month’s G-20 Summit on the financial crisis (see “Just the Facts”), International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Strauss Khan has been pushing for the IMF to be front and center in addressing the crisis. In a complete about-face from one year ago, Strauss Khan now sees the IMF not just fighting fires through new flexible emergency loan arrangements to address food, fuel and finance crises, but as a “global regulatory coordinator” or world central bank.
US Congress passes new law aimed at increasing World Bank accountability
Legislation to encourage greater transparency and accountability at the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) was signed into law by President Bush, November 14, 2005. The reforms were contained in an amendment to the 2006 foreign operations appropriation bill proposed by Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as part of the FY06 Foreign Operations appropriations bill.
November 8, 2005
New agreement for financing renewable technology a Trojan horse for environmental destruction, NGOs say
Dams Could Win OECD Support
BONN , May 13 (IPS) - The OECD took a controversial decision Friday to consider loans for large dams on favourable terms.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of 30 rich nations, took a provisional decision to consider loans for hydropower projects that could be repaid over 15 years in place of the present ceiling of eight-and-a-half years.
The OECD at present allows 15-year repayment for nuclear power projects. The decision Friday brings hydro projects on a par with repayment terms for nuclear projects.
The provisional decision is subject to discussions between OECD officials and experts from several disciplines over the next six months.
Non-governmental organisations want the experts and officials to particularly consider the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD).
World Bank Sanctions Acres International Limited
World Bank News Release No: 2005/33/S
WASHINGTON, Jul. 23, 2004 – The World Bank has sanctioned Acres International Limited (Acres), a Canadian company, as a result of corrupt activities related to its Bank financed contract associated with the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Acres was declared ineligible to receive any new Bank financed contracts for a period of three years. This action is part of the Bank’s broad anticorruption efforts initiated by President James Wolfensohn in 1996. More information on the World Bank’s overall anticorruption policies and activities can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/anticorruption.
February 12, 2004
Mr. James Wolfensohn
World Bank Group
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
HAND – DELIVERY / MELBOURNE
Comments to the Auditor General on the review of EDC's Environmental Review Directive (January 2004)
EDC’s Commitments to the Environment