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World Development Movement blog

30 June 2011

Hadiru Mahdi, Bretton Woods Project

As Christine Lagarde is briefed on her new job as the managing director of the IMF (the World Bank’s sister organisation, set up post-war to promote economic stability) we are left to reflect on the rigged selection process and sad inevitability of her appointment. The legitimacy of the Fund, already in pieces, was dealt a further blow by this debacle.

29 June 2011

I still don’t see the logic in any of this:

1) Reckless banking brings about a global financial crisis
2) The banks are bailed out with taxpayers’ money
3) The public sector pays - cuts and austerity measures are enforced
4) Bankers carry on as usual

28 June 2011

Today, decisions are due to be made on new World Bank ‘climate loans’ to Cambodia, St. Lucia, Mozambique, Nepal and Zambia. To protest against these new loans and say no to the World Bank being involved in climate finance, WDM and the Jubilee Debt Campaign gathered outside the Department for International Development in London. 

28 June 2011

So it’s the big strike on 30 June.  Hundreds of thousands of teachers, workers and public service workers are striking to protest at the governments austerity measures.  Measures driven by a desire to pursue a neo-liberal agenda that will damage public services and open the door the door of privatisation, putting profit before people.

In solidarity with other campaigners in the global south who have been protesting against a similar western-led agenda for years, WDM will be supporting the strike. 

There are several ways to get involved all over the country:

28 June 2011

Rosie Rogers, WDM campaigner

While doing some research on my favourite climate financing body, the UN Adaptation Fund, I came across this quote by Farrukh Iqbal Khan, recent Chair of the Fund appealing to developed countries to contribute generously to the Adaptation Fund...

27 June 2011

Malaika Aleba from Alberta Canada, who spoke in London at International Stop the Tar Sands day.

Last Saturday morning I woke up with an extra spring in my step and hopped (despite the ungodly hour) onto the Oxford tube to London. Why in the world, you may be asking yourself, would a twenty-something-year-old choose to spend a Saturday morning jumping onto a bus, when she could be partaking in a myriad of other activities, such as, you know, sleeping in?


23 June 2011

Today campaigners in the west still protest in solidarity with people in the global south but now there is an even bigger group of people joining the call for an end to an economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many. Citizens in Europe and the US are now feeling the brunt of policies that are being driven by the same ideology that impoverished poor communities in the global south.

22 June 2011

Patrick Bond, director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society

Judging by what transpired at last week's global climate negotiations in the former West German capital, Bonn, it appears certain that in just over five months time, the South African port city of Durban will host a conference of procrastinators, the 'COP 17' (Conference of Parties), dooming the earth to the frying pan. Further inaction on climate change will leave our city's name as infamous for elite incompetence and political betrayal as is Oslo's in the Middle East.

21 June 2011

Adam Ramsay, Bright Green

In 2005 Latin America made up 80% of the IMF’s total lending. In 2007 it made up only 1%. Over 3 years, their total loan book dropped from $81 billion dollars to $11.8 billion. To put it another way, they lost nearly all of their power.

14 June 2011

Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt Campaign

Thanks to Keanu Reeves stealing historical figures for a history project in 1989, the one quote I think I remember from philosophy is from Socrates: ‘wisest is he who knows what he does not know’.

At a World Bank and Swiss government organised debt conference in Berne, there seemed a need for more acknowledgment of what we do not know.

8 June 2011

With a backdrop of a stagnating economy and a population increasingly questioning the logic of his strategy for cutting the deficit, this morning I heard the chancellor, George Osborne, defend his and the government’s policy of fast-reaching, sweeping cuts, many of which are yet to make their teeth fully felt. The IMF, he insisted, were soon to announce their backing for the strategy, and who could be a more independent (and thus compelling) judge than they?


6 June 2011

In a report released yesterday, the United Nations called for the regulation of financial speculation on food prices, to prevent “price bubbles”.

Financial gambling by banks, hedge funds and pension funds causes massive hikes in the price of basic foods, making millions of people go hungry. 

The report by the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development says that due to speculation, prices are no longer driven by supply and demand.

2 June 2011

Earlier this week, the European Parliament’s economic affairs committee voted overwhelmingly – 36 against 1 – in favour of a draft law to regulate shadowy derivatives trading. Derivatives are complex financial contracts that can be bought and sold and are the way that banks can speculate on food prices. One of the demands of our food speculation campaign is that food derivatives are traded on ‘open exchanges’ where they can be regulated properly and all trading is transparent, in the same way shares are traded on the stock market. 

2 June 2011

Tom Shelton, Handicap International UK

Leading financial institutions, both in the UK and worldwide, are continuing to invest billions of dollars in companies producing cluster munitions, despite these weapons being banned under international law, according to a new report released last week.

26 May 2011

‘It’s very hard,’ Holly Rakotondralambo told me before the start of last night’s public meeting in London about tar sands mining in Madagascar and Canada. ‘We only have seven people in our organisation. We are like a family.’

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