Magazine article New Internationalist

Bank Dictatorship [Human Development Report]

Magazine article New Internationalist

Bank Dictatorship [Human Development Report]

Article excerpt

The latest Human Development Report from the United Nations focuses on democracy - or the lack of it - around the world. It turns the spotlight not just on governments but on international institutions, pointing to the crisis of public confidence in the legitimacy and effectiveness of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

* The IMF and World Bank are dictating domestic policy more and more, through conditions attached to their loans. In the 1980s borrowing countries were required to meet between 6 and 10 performance criteria; in the 1990s this rose to 26.

* Although developing countries are deeply affected by IMF and World Bank decisions they have little influence on their decision-making. Nearly half of the voting power rests in the hands of seven countries [Japan, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, Germany and the US]. …

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