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World Bank Owes People of African Heritage Apology

"Claims of institutional racism against black people have dogged the World Bank for decades. The current president has a real opportunity to end the scourge." [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 16, 2012 - 10 comments

Our 4°C future

In a report released [Tuesday], the World Bank analyzed the consequences of allowing temperatures to reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. ... the report's authors admit that predications are a challenge. Still, they do their best to try to paint a picture, and boy, is it grim.
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 20, 2012 - 84 comments

Dartmouth Idol

Can your Partners in Health co-founder college president World Bank president do this?
posted by lukemeister on Mar 23, 2012 - 36 comments

In a sympathetic biochemical photo-reactive process, the Biosphere has altered the litho-sphere into the pedosphere, the cryo-sphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere*

The Loess Plateau in China’s Northwest is home to more than 50 million people. Centuries of overuse led to one of the highest erosion rates in the world and widespread poverty. Two projects (results) set out to restore the Loess Plateau. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Mar 22, 2012 - 7 comments

Hillary can be President after all!

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital World Bank? Robert Zoellick has announced that he will step down from his role as World Bank President on June 30, at the end of his five-year term. Though the president has traditionally been selected by the President of the United States through an informal agreement with European powers, emerging powers including Brazil and India have argued for a change in policy. [more inside]
posted by psoas on Feb 15, 2012 - 18 comments

Final Stage Boss Battle with Infant Mortality

Ever wondered what would happen if all those people playing Farmville and Mafia Wars were trying to save the world instead? Enter Urgent Evoke, "a ten week crash course in changing the world," designed by Jane McGonigal (who previously designed World without Oil) for the World Bank Institute. Players take on tasks like the UN Millennium Development Goals. Wanna play? [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Global food studies

Exposed: The great GM crops myth. A new study shows some genetically engineered crops (soy, cotton) produce less than equvilent conventional crops. Meanwhile the IAASTD - sort of the IPCC of agriculture composed of 400 experts from around the world - has concluded in a major report that GM crops are not the answer to world hunger and there must be a "paradigm shift" (IAASTD report summary). They predict global demand for food will double in the next 25-50 years, but with the current food crises, some GM crops are already less taboo, but PETA is banking on vat grown meat.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 22, 2008 - 112 comments

Rethinking aid donations

40% of Afghan aid returns to donor countries. In today's guardian, it has been reported that 40% of the money promised/delivered to aid Afghan has been spent on "corporate profits and consultancy fees" and that "Much of the money earmarked for aid is diverted to political or military purposes." [more inside]
posted by insatiablehee on Mar 25, 2008 - 23 comments

Who are the world's best manufacturers of red tape?

The US may be the economic superpower, and China the new manufacturing powerhouse, but there is one industry in which Africa still leads the world: the manufacture of red tape. The World Bank releases its 2008 Doing Business report (overview, pdf) on the ease of, well, doing business. The USA is pushed into third by plucky New Zealand and Singapore but overall Eastern Europe has overtaken East Asia as the most business-friendly environment behind high-income OECD countries. [more inside]
posted by patricio on Oct 22, 2007 - 34 comments

Not something you can drop on your foot ...

A recent article in Reason magazine discusses a World Bank report that comes to some unexpected conclusions, not the least of which is that "human capital and the value of institutions (as measured by rule of law) constitute the largest share of wealth in virtually all countries." Worldwide, the study finds, "natural capital accounts for 5 percent of total wealth, produced capital for 18 percent, and intangible capital 77 percent." In other words, rich countries are not rich because they have cheap natural resources (or exploited those of other countries), they are rich because of their social institutions. [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 on Sep 11, 2007 - 31 comments

Is Wolfowitz on his way out?

"If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." The World Bank opted to fuck with Wolfowitz anyway.
posted by chunking express on May 15, 2007 - 93 comments

Bringing corruption and favoritism to the World (Bank)

Paul Wolfowitz faces calls to resign after admitting he helped his SO win a promotion to a high-paying job at the World Bank. The executive board of the World Bank has said it did not approve a hefty pay rise ordered by its president Paul Wolfowitz for his partner, Shaha Riza. This comes after a 2006 pledge to target corruption and stating that staff members should be praised when they raised concerns about corruption in projects. Seems as though this new tactic is starting to work. For those with short memories, prior to being picked by the President head up the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz studied under neo-con grandfather Leo Strauss while a grad student at the University of Chicago, was a founding member of the PNAC, and an architect of the Bush Doctrine, and by extension, the Iraq War.
posted by psmealey on Apr 13, 2007 - 85 comments

...shock therapy on countries in various states of shock for at least three decades...

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism --...Although hotels and industry have already started reconstructing on the coast, in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and India, governments have passed laws preventing families from rebuilding their oceanfront homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are being forcibly relocated inland, to military style barracks in Aceh and prefab concrete boxes in Thailand. The coast is not being rebuilt as it was--dotted with fishing villages and beaches strewn with handmade nets. Instead, governments, corporations and foreign donors are teaming up to rebuild it as they would like it to be: the beaches as playgrounds for tourists, the oceans as watery mines for corporate fishing fleets, both serviced by privatized airports and highways built on borrowed money....
Naomi Klein on "reconstruction" money after natural disasters--and who benefits. (Makes Wolfowitz seem like a less unlikely choice to head the World Bank after reading, too.)
posted by amberglow on Apr 17, 2005 - 36 comments

smells like Kissinger, but he only slept with starlets

Oh Wolfie! Wolfie! Invade me like you invaded Iraq! Pegged to head the World Bank, is Wolfowitz' lover, Shaha Riza, one of the reasons we invaded Iraq? Critics say it would be impossible for Wolfie - as he is nicknamed by Bush - to make independent decisions when his lover, who works on Middle Eastern and North African issues, is so committed to overthrowing Middle Eastern regimes. "His womanising has come home to roost," a Washington insider said. "Paul was a foreign policy hawk long before he met Shaha but it doesn't look good to be accused of being under the thumb of your mistress."
posted by amberglow on Mar 26, 2005 - 34 comments

U2 Can B A Rock Star Prez

U2 Can B A Rock Star Prez. The president of the World Bank is traditionally an American. But in a recent editorial the L.A. Times nominated third-world debt relief activitist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee and--oh yeah--U2 frontman for the soon-to-be-vacant position. With economic tutoring from "probably the most important economist in the world", the singer/activist (and self-confessed egomaniac) has spent the last 5 years lobbying the World Bank and IMF to help African nations break the decades' old cycle of debt by combining debt relief with improved trade and AIDS assistance. After a stint as celebrity spokesmodel for Jubilee2000, then founding a similar DATA Agenda funded by Bill Gates, he's developed cred as "a serious player on Third World debt". "It's about the right to begin again," Bono says. "The right to be free of your past..." President Bono: a chance to reform the World Bank from the inside, or celebrity poser? Readers' response... [BugMeNot for the reg-only sites]
posted by nakedcodemonkey on Mar 1, 2005 - 32 comments

Export Credit Agencies--The Secret Engine of Globalization

Worse Than the World Bank? Export Credit Agencies--The Secret Engine of Globalization The amount of investment that export credit agencies (ECA) support worldwide is significantly greater than the total amount of lending from the World Bank, IMF and all other multilateral institutions combined. ECA's account for the single biggest component of developing country debt and half of all new greenhouse gas-emitting industrial projects in developing countries have some sort of ECA support. Investments in places like Guatemala, South Africa, Pakistan, Chile [PDF], have had unacceptable social, environmental and economic consequences. Administered or backed by a government, an ECA uses taxpayer money to make it cheaper and less risky for domestic corporations to export or invest overseas. ECAs privatize the profit and socialize the risk while negatively impacting indigenous cultures and enironments, all with little or no governmental oversight or public awareness of the matter. So what can we do about it? [PDF]
posted by faux ami on Nov 26, 2004 - 14 comments

How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

Conscience of an Economic Hit Man Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews John Perkins, a former international banker on how globalization is leveraged to cheat poor countries.
We've built the largest empire in the history of the world. It's been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It's only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.

posted by ao4047 on Nov 9, 2004 - 17 comments

TRAPPED, CUFFED & BUSSED

TRAPPED, CUFFED & BUSSED Two Diamondback (Univ. of Maryland student newspaper)reporters covering the IMF-World Bank protests were arrested Friday morning and manacled for 23 hours. Surrounded by hundreds of protesters in Pershing Park, Washington Metropolitan Police circled and arrested the entire group. Jason Flanagan and Debra Kahn were there as impartial observers, and despite the newspaper's efforts to release them, they were stripped of all their possessions - even their shoelaces. What follows is a first-person account of their arrest and detention.
posted by Ty Webb on Oct 2, 2002 - 71 comments

"We have a dysfunctional global currency and economic system, in which the whole world is set up to sell to the American consumer."

"We have a dysfunctional global currency and economic system, in which the whole world is set up to sell to the American consumer." As stocks collapse and banks take hits for their Enron complicity, market skeptics like Prudent Bear's David Tice are getting attention. Bears love ripping into herd euphoria and shady Wall Street practices, but deny any joy when businesses fail. Try the Credit Bubble Bulletin, which points out Enron-style vulnerabilities at institutions like J.P. Morgan, then move to the great 401(k) hoax, the myth of accounting reform and Thailand's so-far successful anti-IMF economic strategy. Things will soon get much worse, promise the investors who sneer at "a fascinating intellectual environment where weak analysis continues to dominate discourse."
posted by mediareport on Jul 30, 2002 - 27 comments

The New Gilded Age and its Discontents.

The New Gilded Age and its Discontents. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz began explaining why markets fail long before Enron and WorldCom rose, exploded and crashed. But not many people wanted to listen during the boom-boom '90s; Stiglitz was even fired from his position as chief economist at the World Bank after he repeatedly criticized the organization's free-market obsessions.
posted by Ty Webb on Jul 3, 2002 - 8 comments

ANTHRAX AGAIN!

ANTHRAX AGAIN! The World Bank in Washington DC said today that some of its mail had tested positive for possible anthrax contamination. 1200 employees there will be staying home tomorrow. It's the third report of a positive test in DC this week. Hysteria, residue from before, or is it happening all over again?
posted by crunchland on May 21, 2002 - 11 comments

UK government pushing sale of air defense system to Tanzania, one of world's poorest countries and proud owner of a grand total of 8 (eight) military aircraft

UK government pushing sale of air defense system to Tanzania, one of world's poorest countries and proud owner of a grand total of 8 (eight) military aircraft This just reeks of Western hypocrisy: despite Labour's commitment to development goals and an ethical foreign policy, despite the World Bank's highly critical stance, despite a per capita income of £170 a year, despite a system that could be used for civilian air control at one fourth of the cost, despite all this and more, the jobs of 250 Brits must take precedence.
posted by magullo on Dec 19, 2001 - 5 comments

Rising Sea Level Forcing Evacuation of Tuvalu.

Rising Sea Level Forcing Evacuation of Tuvalu. "During the twentieth century, sea level rose by 20-30 centimeters (8-12 inches)." The 1,196 tiny islands of the Maldives are "barely 2 meters above sea level". "In 2000 the World Bank published a map showing that a 1-meter rise in sea level would inundate half of Bangladesh's riceland." Here are EPA and NASA sites on the sea level. (NASA? They may be promoting justification to colonize other planets ASAP!)
posted by mmarcos on Nov 25, 2001 - 17 comments

Recognising "Renegage Economics"?

Recognising "Renegage Economics"? Joseph Stiglitz, who was famously cast into the wilderness by the IMF and World Bank, walked off with a share of this year's Nobel Prize for Economics, for his work on the asymmetric benefits of unrestricted "open markets": in short, the way that promoting "free trade" favours the developed nations over the developing. A calculated fuck-you to the neo-liberal mainstream, or a recognition that the critique of globalisation extends well beyond street protesters?
posted by holgate on Oct 10, 2001 - 8 comments

Did you hear about the Trash Bloc? Some anti-authoritarians are planning a bloc for the weekend of the IMF/World Bank protests that would go around Washington DC neighborhoods and pick up trash. I think we can all get down with that.
posted by sudama on Aug 20, 2001 - 4 comments

Visualize whirled peas.

Visualize whirled peas. Informative spoof on the World Bank, which I think actually does an okay job relative to the IMF (who are about to sink Argentina). via haddock
posted by kliuless on Aug 2, 2001 - 5 comments

No way but to decommission the World Bank and IMF

No way but to decommission the World Bank and IMF -- BusinessWorld columnist Walden Bello explains why the policies of these two institutions have magnified world poverty and inequality, and traces the opposition movement from its origins in the Global South, to Seattle, Prague and beyond:

"The historic Prague Spring of 1968 spelled the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire. Will Prague, the site of the World Bank-IMF annual meeting for the year 2000, join Seattle in December 1998 and Washington, D.C. in April of this year as one of the catalytic events ushering the beginning of the end of hegemony of corporate-driven globalization?..."
posted by johnb on Sep 26, 2000 - 8 comments

Protest the IMF and World Bank April 16 and 17.

Protest the IMF and World Bank April 16 and 17. Info on a non-violent rally/protest in DC, and other actions around the US. Also ... Michael Moore is going to be the emcee.
posted by E-Boogie on Apr 4, 2000 - 1 comment

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