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Jun 10 · Last update 10 days ago.

Who runs the World Bank?

The World Bank was established following the Second World War, initially known as the International Bank for Reconstruction Development (IBRD), it was established to help fund rebuilding infrastructure in Europe after the war. However when this objective was complete the IBRD was added to a group of other organisations known as the World Bank Group, with its role expanded to an international one. Over the years the groups official goals have shifted from helping to finance global infrastructure projects to reducing extreme poverty by 2030 and raising income of poorest 40% globally. But the World Bank Group has not been without controversy in its history. Who runs the World Bank Group? What is its intention? How well does it achieve its aims?
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GDP rich nations; maintain neoliberal status quo
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Elite interests that fail the world’s poor
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A team of experts appointed by the US
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Financial arm of the American department of defense
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GDP rich nations; maintain neoliberal status quo

It is shortsighted to typecast the failings of the World Bank as intentional, it is a structure problem with the Washington Consensus and the problems with giving veto powers to and allowing the world’s most powerful nations to have the largest say in how the organisation is run. The Washington Consensus was devised in the 1990s and solidified the core structural policies that the group implements in their lending practices, namely the deregulation and liberalisation of markets, coupled with privatisation and the downscaling of government. This has garnered a great deal of criticism, for ignoring equity, employment, and how privatisation policies are carried out, while giving all decision making powers to G8 and G20 nations, and even veto powers and the right to appoint the president of the group solely to the US.

In this way the World Bank may be perpetuating the problem of the global economy in poorer countries, not intentionally merely by following the fiscal rulebook on which wealthier nations are run. In this way economist, such a Joseph Stiglitz, have critiqued the World Bank group for placing too much emphasis on GDP growth, ignoring stability and sustainability of that growth and whether it actually improves living standards. Others have alleged that most of the World Bank's loans have ended up in the hands of corrupt leaders of poor countries and doesn't even really impact the people it was allotted to help. But this negative dynamic surrounding international monetary institutions like the World Bank or IMF is fundamentally linked to the fact that these group's memberships are limited to small number of western countries, how can poorer nations improve if they are not at the table?

archive.org/details/makingglobalizat00stig jacobinmag.com/2020/05/world-bank-imf-coronavirus-covid-structural-adjustment dw.com/en/world-bank-failed-to-protect-the-poor-research-shows/a-18388491 huffpost.com/entry/free-trade-isnt-helping-w_b_837893 spectator.co.uk/article/the-bank-that-keeps-poor-nations-poor youtu.be/7MKjEclKK_Y?t=105

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D H
Oct 10
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DH edited this paragraph
In this way the World Bank may be perpetuating the problem of the global economy in poorer countries, not intentionally merely by following the fiscal rulebook on which wealthier nations are run. In this way economist, such a Joseph Stiglitz, have critiqued the World Bank group for placing too much emphasis on GDP growth, ignoring stability and sustainability of that growth and whether it actually improves living standards. Others have alleged that most of the World Bank's loans have ended up in the hands of corrupt leaders of poor countries and doesn't even really impact the people it was allotted to help. But this negative dynamic surrounding international monetary institutions like the World Bank or IMF is fundamentally linked to the fact that these group's memberships are limited to small number of western countries, how can poorer nations improve if they are not at the table?

Elite interests that fail the world’s poor

A major criticism of the World Bank Group is their concentration is on GDP growth over the efficacy or occasionally the ethics of the development projects that are involved with as an organisation. In this way some have argued that the World Bank is run by out of touch economic elites that don’t recognise the needs of the people they are claiming to help, leading to increased poverty in some areas, numerous forced displacement scandals, and a near complete failure to live up to their own standards. A 2015 investigative report found that 3.5 million have been displaced by World Bank projects, and while there are World Bank Group rules for handling involuntary resettlements, they often failed to live up to these standards. From 2007 until 2014 over a thousand indigenous homes have actually been burned or ransacked as a consequence of World Bank schemes.

globalization101.org/why-is-the-world-bank-controversial brettonwoodsproject.org/2019/06/what-are-the-main-criticisms-of-the-world-bank-and-the-imf

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D H
Oct 8
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A team of experts appointed by the US

The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international financing and development agencies that were established along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the Bretton Wood Conference in 1944. The US is the largest shareholder and with the sole right to appoint the World Bank president (the US negotiated this right at Bretton Wood, with the UK negotiating the head of the IMF to be European), but the group is staffed by finance and infrastructure experts, economists, engineers, social scientists, and even anthropologists. Through selling bonds to investors, collecting subscription fees from governments, and net earnings from assets the WBG supplied leans and grants to the world’s poorest countries, enabling projects that have stimulated rural economies. The financing group has allowed the growth of infrastructure in developing nations that could not afford such large projects themselves, but since shifting focus the WBG has also tackled world poverty, improved food production, health, and the environment.

aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.1.53 imf.org/external/pubs/ft/exrp/differ/differ.htm

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D H
Oct 8
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DH edited this paragraph
The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international financing and development agencies that were established along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the Bretton Wood Conference in 1944. The US is the largest shareholder and with the sole right to appoint the World Bank president (the US negotiated this right at Bretton Wood, with the UK negotiating the head of the IMF to be European), but the group is staffed by finance and infrastructure experts, economists, engineers, social scientists, and even anthropologists. Through selling bonds to investors, collecting subscription fees from governments, and net earnings from assets the WBG supplied leans and grants to the world’s poorest countries, enabling projects that have stimulated rural economies. The financing group has allowed the growth of infrastructure in developing nations that could not afford such large projects themselves, but since shifting focus the WBG has also tackled world poverty, improved food production, health, and the environment.

Financial arm of the American department of defense

World Bank lending has been dysfunctional from the outset, and that is by design, the World Bank has been described as an institution that helps to maintain the United States’ financial global empire, and this includes in the US military's own documents. A leaked 2008 military document described as a “regime change handbook” outlines a number of organisations including the World Bank as "unconventional financial weapons" for leveraging the policies and cooperation of foreign governments [1]. According to Economist and historian Michael Hudson, America uses credit and debt to "pull the plug" on foreign economies as a form of economic warfare, and it does this through the World Bank and the IMF [2]. This helps set the international order, to make other countries dependent on the United States financially, in this way Hudson describes the World Bank as essentially a branch of the defence department which spearheads economic warfare.

[2] nakedcapitalism.com/2019/07/michael-hudson-discusses-the-imf-and-world-bank-partners-in-backwardness.html [1] mintpressnews.com/leaked-wikileaks-doc-reveals-how-us-military-uses-of-imf-world-bank-as-unconventional-weapons/254708

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Aug 23
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