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Nine United Nations principles that can help Greece and the Eurozone in 2017

Tiago Stichelmans

12 Jan 2017 10:57:29

Last December’s clash between the finance ministers of the Eurozone (the Eurogroup) and Greece shows how far we are from a long-term and sustainable solution to Greece’s debt issues. On 5 December, the Eurogroup endorsed proposals presented by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) that will lead to symbolic debt relief and might represent up to a 20% debt reduction by 2060, according to the ESM. European governments did not take any further steps, however, as they remain divided on the future of Greece’s programme and most notably on the 3.5% fiscal surplus target after 2018. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organisation that can hardly be considered a radical leftist group, felt the need to clarify that it is not calling for more austerity for Greece and that the 3.5% ...

Mozambique: future target of vulture funds?

Tiago Stichelmans

25 Nov 2016 12:10:15

Once considered an economic recovery miracle, Mozambique is now facing a debt crisis that puts its future in jeopardy. Restructuring its debt in the absence of an international sovereign debt restructuring mechanism will be tricky and vulture funds might use that opportunity to attack the country.  Is the Mozambican economic miracle over? In recent years, many saw Mozambique’s success story with great optimism. Despite the very low human development index of this former Portuguese colony, Mozambique’s economic potential was widely recognised. As with many emerging African economies, the important natural resources of Mozambique suddenly created a surge in investments and exports. In addition to its huge coal reserves, massive gas fields were discovered in the Indian Ocean waters bordering ...
This year’s Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank took place against the backdrop of continued sluggish growth in developed and developing countries alike. The impact of the commodity price crash weighs heavily on many developing countries and has ...
Eleven years ago, the international community adopted the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness that led to the adoption of several principles to improve the effectiveness of international aid. Reflecting on the widely criticised fact that creditors ...
At its upcoming session on 20 September, the UN Human Rights Council will discuss a new report, coordinated by Jean Zielger, on the harmful activities of vulture funds and their impact on human rights. This report shows how vulture funds negatively impact ...

IMF researchers warn: neoliberal policies increase inequalities and jeopardise growth

Tiago Stichelmans

01 Jun 2016 14:49:45

In the June issue of the International Monetary Fund’s publication Finance and Development, there was a very interesting article written by staff from IMF’s Research Department highlighting that neoliberal policies have increased inequalities and jeopardised growth. Revisiting the neoliberal agenda that has aimed to increase competition (notably through the opening of financial markets) and reduce the role of the state, the authors argue that implementing this agenda over the past few decades has had perverse effects. Eurodad's Conditionality Watch shows however that the IMF continues to attach neoliberal policy conditions to its programmes.  Liberalisation of capitals flows raises the odds of a crash and austerity policies jeopardise growth – both increasing ...

Why won’t the Bretton Woods institutions take crisis risks seriously?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings have faded in significance since the G20 became the main forum for discussion between major economic powers. As happened last year, little was agreed when the governors of the two Bretton Woods Institutions met in Washington last week.  The gloomy context of a faltering world economy was at the forefront of the communiqué issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee ( IMFC) – a group of finance ministers and central bankers from the 24 countries and constituencies that have seats on the IMF’s executive board (these are mostly high-income countries). They note a wide range of problems, including that “financial market volatility and risk aversion have risen” and that “lower commodity prices have ...

IMF in Ukraine: shock therapy in times of armed conflict

Tiago Stichelmans

10 Dec 2015 11:39:16

Ukraine has been forced by the IMF to adopt extremely harsh austerity measures in order to pay back its lenders.  Last week, the IMF announced that the disbursement of the third tranche, or portion, of the IMF programme in Ukraine was dependent on the adoption by Ukrainian authorities of the 2016 budget and a tax reform agreed as part of the IMF bailout. This budget must contain austerity measures additional to previous ones imposed by the IMF in a country suffering from political and security instability. Despite the unstable political situation in Kiev and the armed conflict in the east of the country, Ukraine had numerous conditions imposed as part of a 17.5 billion dollar IMF-led bailout programme last year. This programme contains conditions, categorised as either ...
This article was originally published in Rundbrief 4/2015 of the German NGO Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, a NGO network working on international processes regarding sustainable development. The World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business report (DBR) ...