Resources: International financial Institutions

International financial institutions (IFIs) is a term encompassing a broad range of different organisations that take deposits and make loans; provide insurance; manage pension funds; and/or act as brokers, underwriters and investment funds. Many are publicly owned through national governments; these include export credit agencies and multilateral development banks.

71 results
Infrastructure as Asset Class: A Critical Look at Private Equity Infrastructure Funds
Nicholas Hildyard

1 September 2012

Public, state and taxpayers' money is now being channelled the world over toward private equity funds seeking turbo-charged profits from the construction of substantial new infrastructure. The adverse political and economic consequences for the public good are profound and urgently need challenging.

Nicholas Hildyard

13 September 2011

"What news on the Rialto?" one of Shakespeare's businessman characters asks another in "The Merchant of Venice", referring to the bridge where Venice's merchants met to trade. If such a scene were played out today on Wall Street, the topic of conversation might well be how to make money out of saving the Rialto itself. But those who have always lost out as a result of the goings-on on the Rialto may want to talk about something other than how to "fix" a system that has always disadvantaged them.
ECGD's role in promoting exports and credit to SMEs
The Corner House

24 September 2010

This Corner House submission to a Parliamentary Inquiry on "Government Assistance to Industry" (and on "Rebalancing the Economy") looks at how the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) promotes exports and supplies credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Corner House and Samata

30 April 2010

Lawyers acting for The Corner House and Indian group Samata requested a Judicial Review of the decision by the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) effectively scrapping its absolute ban on providing financial support to projects overseas involving "harmful" child labour and forced labour. ECGD stated in response that it does not have to consider whether its support contributes to human rights abuse, because it "does not owe obligations to persons outside the jurisdiction of the UK".

The Corner House announces proposed court action
The Corner House

12 April 2010

On 1 April 2010, a UK government department, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), scrapped its absolute ban on supporting projects overseas that involve child labour and forced labour. Lawyers acting for The Corner House have written to ECGD's Chief Executive stating their intention to challenge the new policy in the courts. They argue that for ECGD to provide UK, taxpayer-backed, support for forced labour would breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Refinancing through GEFCO raises questions about ECGD's financial losses

23 March 2010

In March 2010, The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) submitted a complaint to the European Commission alleging that the UK gives unlawful state aid to GEFCO, a special purpose vehicle used by the UK's export credit agency, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), to refinance its loss-making interest-rate support scheme provided to UK exporters. After much correspondence, it emerged in March 2011 that the complaint should have been directed at the companies receiving the support rather than at GEFCO itself and should have cited a different clause in the WTO's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The groups will submit a new complaint on this basis.

NGO submissions and correspondence
The Corner House and others

3 March 2010

In December 2009, the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) announced a public consultation on proposed revisions to its Business Principles, including wide-ranging changes to its environmental, social and human rights safeguard policies and its anti-bribery and corruption measures. The Corner House and others submitted a joint response detailing the potentially signficiant negative impacts triggered by the proposed changes to policies on child labour and forced labour, greenhouse gas accounting, transparency, anti-bribery and financial risks.

Memoranda to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Corner House

30 June 2009

The Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament requested evidence for its inquiry into business and human rights on the State's duty to protect against human rights abuses by businesses; corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for individuals to have effective access to remedies when their human rights are breached. The Corner House submission to the Committee focused on the policies and practices of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in the context of the state's duty to protect human rights. The Committee subsequently called for supplementary evidence on the government's Draft Bribery Bill and the Industry and Exports (Financial Support) Bill, which The Corner House provided.

Peter Marshall, Newsnight

29 May 2009

BBC2 Television's Newsnight current affairs programme summarised its 8 minute broadcast: "In 2006, the British government scotched a serious fraud investigation into BAE's biggest deal, with Saudi Arabia. Now, Peter Marshall [Newsnight presenter] reveals that the company may have returned the favour. It has stopped a billion pound insurance contract which tied the government to the Saudi business." Information about stopping the insurance contract came to light as a result of legal correspondence between The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade with the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department.

Nicholas Hildyard

13 April 2009

The UK Government is using emergency powers to amend the Export and Investment Guarantees Act 1991 governing the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), so that exporting companies can apply for insurance after they have started constructing their overseas projects (such as oil and gas pipelines, hydroelectric dams and power plants). The amendments would enable companies to circumvent the Department's human rights, environment and sustainable development safeguards.

following up OECD Phase2bis report
solicitors Leigh Day & Co, and Export Credits Guarantee Department

30 March 2009

This exchange of letters between the UK's export credit agency and lawyers acting for The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed that BAE Systems had cancelled all its public insurance for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia with effect from 1 September 2008. These sales have been underwritten by the agency for more than two decades and accounted for half its portfolio.

Environmental, Social and Governance Issues in the Context of the Financial Crisis
Stephanie Fried

1 November 2008

Environmentally- and socially-destructive development projects are increasingly being funded by hedge funds, private equity and sovereign wealth funds (instead of by public or private banks) that are not subject to transparency, governance or reporting requirements. Public financial institutions are also investing in these alternative vehicles, which are often based in offshore tax havens. Basic information about these vehicles is not routinely made public. But in the midst of the financial crisis, the Asian Development Bank is pushing for even less transparency for such risky investments. Regulatory authorities should instead focus on much stronger transparency and accountability requirements and address the use by public financial institutions of "secrecy jurisdictions".

Financial Bricolage, Derivatives and Power
Nicholas Hildyard

9 October 2008

39. Financial entrepreneurs created a 'shadow banking system' over the past 30 years to circumvent regulation and to offload risk onto others, relying on 'derivatives' and 'securitisation'. They generated easy credit that fuelled a boom in corporate mergers and acquisitions across the United States and Europe, and that enabled companies involved in mining, biofuels, private health care, water supply, infrastructure and forestry to expand their activities significantly. When the pyramid of deals came tumbling down, however, the public had to bear the costs.

Some Frequently Asked Questions
Kavaljit Singh

8 October 2008

38. The current protectionist backlash against state-owned sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), particularly from the Middle East and China, stems from Western policy makers' fears that SWFs follow strategic political objectives rather than commercial interests, investing in Western companies and banks to secure control of strategically important industries such as telecommunications, energy and banking. This paper examines these fears in order to understand the potential impact and implications of sovereign wealth funds in a rapidly-changing global political economy.

Memorandum to Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry
The Corner House

1 July 2008

On 13 May 2008, the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry into the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and Sustainable Development to reassess the extent to which ECGD takes account of environmental and social concerns in the course of its decisions.

Memorandum from The Corner House to the Environmental Audit Committee
The Corner House

30 June 2008

This Corner House submission to a 2008 inquiry by the Environmental Audit Committee into the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department and Sustainable Development critiqued the ECGD's decision-making procedures concerning sustainable development; its inadequate Business Principles and need for a proactive approach; its due diligence and monitoring; information disclosure; and the OECD and ECA reform.

Against the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Sakhalin II)
WWF-UK and The Corner House

15 August 2007

On 15 August 2007, The Corner House and conservation organisation WWF-UK filed papers at the High Court in a judicial review of the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department's decision in March 2004 to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project off the far eastern coast of Russia.

for the Judicial Review Application against the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Sakhalin II)
James Leaton, WWF-UK

15 August 2007

WWF-UK's 'witness statement' (as part of its joint claim for a judicial review of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department's decision in March 2004 to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project off the far eastern coast of Russia) describes the project; outlines concerns about its impacts on the Western Gray Whale, fisheries, local communities, and climate change; summarises the flawed process of the Environmental Impact Assessment; and details how WWF-UK eventually learnt about the ECGD's decision to support Sakhalin II by means of a Freedom of Information request.

for the Judicial Review Application against the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Sakhalin II)
Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

15 August 2007

The Corner House's 'witness statement' (as part of its joint claim with WWF-UK for a judicial review of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department's decision in March 2004 to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project off the far eastern coast of Russia) summarises The Corner House's monitoring over several years of the ECGD's environmental, human rights and development policies; its engagement with ECGD on the Sakhalin II project since November 2002; and its concerns about the March 2004 decision.

over Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project
WWF-UK and The Corner House

15 August 2007

On 15 August 2007, WWF and The Corner House filed for a judicial review of a legally-binding, but until recently undisclosed, decision in March 2004 by the UK Government's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project off the far eastern coast of Russia.

on Updated Analysis and Continued Opposition to Financing for Sakhalin II
15 NGOs

2 August 2007

In August 2007, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was considering financing the Sakhalin II oil and gas project. Some 15 environmental organisations wrote this updated analysis and renewed their call for the Bank to decline financing.

ECGD's case impact screening

31 July 2007

ECGD released in July 2007, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, its impact assessment of the Jindal Vijayanagar, Steel plant in India to which it had given support in 2005.

Nicholas Hildyard

30 May 2007

This article summarises the main issues arising from the BTC oil pipeline runing from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Tbilisi in Georgia to a new marine terminal at Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast that has been developed by a consortium of companies led by the British oil multinational BP. These include the project agreements between the consortium and the three countries; safety concerns; and concerns over due diligence and monitoring.

2 May 2007

In 2007, the UK's export credit agency, ECGD, released documents indicating that it had classified a nuclear power plant in South Korea (for which it gave support in 2005) as having "low potential impacts"; this classification meant that the project did not require ECGD to carry out a more detailed impact assessment before giving support.

Report of Fact Finding Mission to Iraq, 29 March 2007
The Corner House and Kurdish Human Rights Project

25 April 2007

In March 2007, the export credit agencies (ECAs) of Austria, Germany and Switzerland approved financial guarantees for the proposed Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in the Kurdish region of Southeast Turkey. They stated that Turkey had provided the two downstream countries, Syria and Iraq, with the information these countries had sought about the Dam, and that Iraq had agreed to the project. Neither claim is true, according to Iraq's Minister of Water. By approving funding before Iraq and Syria had been consulted, the ECAs could be in violation of international law.

Simon Clark and Stephen Voss

1 February 2007

This Bloomberg Markets article describes the allegations by BP consultant Derek Mortimore that the engineering company contracted to monitor the BTC oil pipeline has no experience in pipeline corrosion work.

How Rich Country Export Credit Agencies Facilitate Corruption in the Global South
The Corner House

1 May 2006

The Corner House interviewed by the US magazine, Multinational Monitor, on export credit agencies and corruption.

Assessment Against ECGD Policies on Project Acceptability
The Corner House, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), WWF-UK

26 April 2006

Any ECGD support for the Anglo-Dutch petrochemical multinational Shell to develop two oil and gas fields off Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East would breach international guidelines and conflict with the UK's sustainable development commitments and its international environmental obligations.

The evidence so far from the OECD Working Group on Bribery Phase 2 reviews
Susan Hawley for ECA-Watch

28 February 2006

The OECD's Working Group on Bribery regard export credit agencies (ECAs) as essential to combating bribery and believe that ECA procedures to do so could be significantly improved. The Group's reviews of various OECD countries emphasise the importance of ECAs having proper procedures in place to detect and report bribery suspicions to law enforcement agencies, and to exclude companies convicted of corruption from further export credit support.

Investment Agreements and Corporate Colonialism
Nicholas Hildyard and Greg Muttit

11 February 2006

Many corporations now rely on bilateral and regional treaties to get what they want in other countries. Some companies are using Host Government Agreements to set up a specific legal framework giving them effective control over national legislation and regulations affecting their activities. Oil and gas companies are using Production Sharing Agreements to gain almost complete control over natural resources in the countries of the former Soviet Union and West Africa and in Iraq.

Request to ECGD for information regarding BTC oil pipeline

13 December 2005

ECGD released some information related to the coating on the BTC oil pipeline in response to a Corner House information request. 

Dr Susan Hawley

18 November 2005

On 21 October 2005, the ECGD announced several proposed changes to its anti-corruption procedures. This document outlines The Corner House's concerns about these proposals, particularly the weak audit clause and the non-requirement to supply the identity of agents.

The Corner House

21 October 2005

On 21st October 2005, the ECGD announced its provisional response to the public consultation on its anti-corruption procedures. The ECGD proposes to take some steps towards re-strengthening its procedures, but has still stopped short in some key areas.

The Case for Strengthened Standards
Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House, UK; and Eliah Gilfenbaum, Environmental Defense, USA

27 September 2005

This paper documents new subsidies that ECAs may give for large dams; evaluates the accompanying standards that ECAs may require for dam projects; and identifies future ECA actions if funding for dams is not to have negative environmental and social impacts.

How export credit agencies are offering new subsidies for destructive projects under the guise of environmental protection
ECA-Watch

27 September 2005

Northern governments may grant more export credits for large dams by classifying them as "renewable energy". This report details the negative impacts of five large dams and one water privatisation scheme financed with export credits.

A historic opportunity
ECA-Watch

22 September 2005

This submission to the OECD Working Group on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees argues that a strong new OECD Action Statement on Combating Bribery in Officially Supported Export Credits should be agreed in October 2005 and recomends key anti-bribery measures to be incorporated into it.

The Agenda for 2005
Dr Susan Hawley

22 June 2005

This submission to the EU Council Working Group on Trade details how the OECD Action Statement on Combating Bribery in Officially Supported Export Credits should be strengthened and how European Export Credit Agencies should improve their anti-bribery procedures. It was prepared for a special meeting held between the EU Council Working Group on Export Credits and NGOs on 22 June 2005.

Dr Susan Hawley

15 June 2005

In January 2005, the UK's export credit agency, ECGD, announced a public consultation into its weakened anti-corruption procedures, introduced following industry lobbying. This submission to that consultation argues that the ECGD should revert to its revised procedures if it is to prevent bribery in the projects that it supports.

Conflict and the politics of infrastructure development
Nicholas Hildyard

28 May 2005

Infrastructure development is the point at which many conflicts, both past and future, over resources and decision-making meet. Several projects proposed or being implemented in Turkey illustrate these points.

Memorandum from The Corner House
Dr Susan Hawley

25 February 2005

At the beginning of 2005, the UK Parliament's Trade and Industry Select Committee conducted an inquiry into the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). During its inquiry, it interviewed the Government Minister responsible for the ECGD about the Department's watering down of its anti-bribery procedures following industry lobbying. In March 2005, the Committee published a report, Implementation of ECGD's Business Principles, that was highly critical of the changes the Department had made to its procedures. This document is The Corner House's submission to the Committee's inquiry.

The Corner House

25 January 2005

In December 2004, The Corner House began legal proceedings against the Export Credits Guarantee Department, claiming it had weakened its anti-corruption rules after consulting corporations only. It was awarded the first-ever full "protective costs order" to challenge the changed rules: The Corner House would not have to pay the Department's legal costs, even if it lost, because the challenge was in the public interest.

13 January 2005

In December 2004, The Corner House instituted legal proceedings against the UK's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as the government minister responsible for the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

Towards a model for excellence: A discussion paper
Dr Susan Hawley

24 June 2004

Enforcement of overseas corruption offences involving British companies and individuals under the UK's anti-corruption legislation is crucial to tackling corruption internationally. The current arrangements in the UK between various law enforcement agencies are not the most effective means of ensuring that these offences are investigated and prosecuted. A more pro-active enforcement regime could detect overseas corruption offences as and when they occur and could act on credible suspicions of bribery.

Confirmation of conditional support
Export Credits Guarantee Department

4 March 2004

In response to a Freedom of Information request from The Corner House, the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) released a letter it had written on 4 March 2004 to the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company confirming that it had approved conditional support for several UK contracts for the Sakhalin II project.

Export Credit Agencies and Corruption
Susan Hawley

15 December 2003

30. The taxpayer-backed export credit agencies of industrialised countries are underwriting the bribery and corruption of large, mainly Western, companies operating abroad.

Corruption and the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department
Dr Susan Hawley

1 June 2003

Institutional practices within the taxpayer-funded UK Export Credits Guarantee Department have exacerbated bribery and corruption by Western companies.

Memorandum to Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry
Nicholas Hildyard and Susan Hawley

19 May 2003

This submission from The Corner House documents in detail how the ECGD’s policies and practices fall far short of compliance with the Government’s sustainable development commitments. It makes several recommendations to address the ECGD’s institutional and procedural failures, and to bring the Department in line with the Government’s sustainable development policies and objectives.

Kerim Yildiz, Kurdish Human Rights Project, and Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

23 May 2002

Since October 2000, the UK Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) has been bound by the UK Human Rights Act. But many of the ECGD's procedures potentially conflict with this Act.

Recommendations from Friends of the Earth to the ECGD
Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth

23 May 2002

In 2001, governments agreed that export credit agencies should support the transfer of climate-friendly technologies. Urgent institutional reform is needed if Britain is to fulfil its commitment, argues this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

Global Witness

23 May 2002

Publicly-traded companies involved in resource exploitation should be required to publish a breakdown of all payments which they make for the products of every country in which they operate.

Romilly Greenhill and Ann Petifor, Jubilee Research

23 May 2002

Export Credit Agencies have created unsustainable debt in developing countries. Despite reforms, arms sales and other ECA-backed deals continue build up debt without contributing to development.

Ann Feltham, Campaign Against Arms Trade

23 May 2002

Arms sales currently take up a disproportionate amount of official export credit support. The Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and other Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) should end support for military goods.

Barry Coates and Daniela Reale, World Development Movement

23 May 2002

The UK government's Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) supports British exporters. Using public money to support private businesses is only justified if it has a demonstrable public purpose.

Michael Bartlet, Religious Society of Friends

23 May 2002

The ECGD's support for defence-related exports has lost money every year for the past 12 years. This strongly suggests that arms sales are being deliberately subsidised.

Rob Cartridge, Campaigns Director, War on Want

23 May 2002

Protecting workers' rights is central to alleviating poverty. The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) should require all applicants to have policies for achieving core labour standards.

NGO Seminar on Reform of Export Credits Guarantee Department - Seminar Report
Sean Scannell, The Ilisu Dam Campaign

23 May 2002

Summary of an NGO seminar held in the UK parliament to discuss Export Credit Agency reform.

The ECGD's recent record
Susan Hawley, The Corner House

23 May 2002

The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) has a long record of backing corrupt projects. New vetting procedures have loopholes, leaving the ECGD open to charges of complicity in corruption, contends this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

Recommendations to the UK Export Credits Guarantee Agency
Kirstine Drew, UNICORN, Public Services International Research Unit

23 May 2002

The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) has a legal obligation to combat corruption. But its failure to adopt non-discretionary, transparent procedures is fundamentally flawed, argues this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

The Corner House, Ilisu Dam Campaign, Kurdish Human Rights Project, Friends of the Earth, Berne Declaration, Campaign An Eye on SACE, Pacific Environment, World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED)

1 September 2001

This Review evaluates the extent to which the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Resettlement Action Plan for the Ilisu Dam and related hydroelectric projects demonstrate compliance with international guidelines, legal obligations and export credit agency conditions on resettlement of those who would have to move because of the Dam.

Britain's Role in Promoting Corruption, Cronyism and Graft
The Corner House

10 December 2000

This Corner House submission to British House of Commons' International Development Committee's Inquiry into corruption urges the Committee to examine the structural causes of corruption in the countries of the South, such as the policies and programmes that Western governments and agencies push on these countries. It recommends that the Committee focus less on the perceived "lack of political will" to tackle corruption and more on those vested interests that generate immense political will to block investigations when they are initiated and to undermine anti-corruption drives.

Nicholas Hildyard

20 October 2000

Unless Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) can demonstrate a public purpose, ensured through mandatory sustainable development standards, the subsidies they provide have no legitimacy.

The Final Report of a Fact-Finding Mission to the Ilisu Dam Region
Ilisu Dam Campaign; the Kurdish Human Rights Project; The Corner House; World Economy, Ecology and Development; Eye on SACE Campaign and Pacific Environment Research Center

16 October 2000

The companies that want to build the controversial Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in the Kurdish region of Southeast Turkey have sought financial backing from the export credit agencies (ECAs) of their countries. In January 1999, the ECAs attached four conditions to be met before they would issue export credits. During 9-16 October 2000, an international Fact Finding Mission of Non-Governmental Organisations from the UK, USA, Germany and Italy went to the region of the proposed dam to assess the Turkish government's progress meeting the four conditions.

A memorandum from concerned non-governmental organisations and parliamentarians
concerned NGOs

31 July 2000

In July 1999, the UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced a Review of the mission and status of the UK Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD). This Memorandum, signed by 35 UK NGOs and parliamentarians, sets out proposals to reform the ECGD so as to bring it in line with the stated policies of the UK government on sustainable development, human rights, open government and putting ethics “at the centre” of foreign policy.

A Political Economy of Ethics in the Export Credit Debate
Nicholas Hildyard

2 June 2000

“Moral dilemmas” are not unattached to political, bureaucratic, social and economic interests. They are deeply political and are products of everyday conflicts over meaning, resources and ways of living and power. Who raises a particular moral dilemma and why is thus of critical importance.

Export Credit Agencies, Corporate Welfare and Policy Incoherence
Nicholas Hildyard

30 June 1999

14. Projects backed by export credit agencies (ECAs) are frequently environmentally destructive, socially oppressive or financially unviable. It is the poorest people in the countries where the projects are located who end up paying the bill. With rare exceptions, the major ECAs lack mandatory environmental and development standards, and are secretive and unaccountable.

Reflections for Activists
Larry Lohmann

31 August 1998

9. “Third World development” seldom achieves its stated objectives and is repeatedly discovered to be based on false assumptions. Although discredited, however, it has survived and flourished. This briefing asks to what extent development’s critics have inadvertently increased both its longevity and its capacity to produce falsehoods and failure. Forging an effective critical activism requires reexamining the dynamic between development projects and their opponents, helpers and beneficiaries.

Larry Lohmann

31 March 1998

All development projects follow a three-act dramatic plotline, as development agencies try to impose plans, meet local opposition, and improvise freely in an attempt to overcome resistance.

Dramatic U-Turn or Clever Repositioning?
Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1997

The package of economic reforms that the World Bank has promoted in recent years -- from privatisation of state or public services and assets to deregulation of labour and environmental laws -- has, in theory, been intended to remove the state from all but a minimal role in the national economy. The best government is considered to be the least government. Yet the practical outcome of these free-market policies has been to increase and redirect the state’s power in favour of transnational interests. Resistance to the “free market state” is growing, as is the demand that the state’s powers be used to protect the interests and rights of citizens, not corporations.

The World Bank and the Private Sector
Nicholas Hildyard

1 July 1996

Increasingly, multilateral development banks are funding private companies to undertake projects, underwriting the investments through guarantees or providing loans direct to the companies involved. Development is effectively being “privatised”. For companies, a raft of new “corporate welfare” programmes are on offer.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1996

The rich have never been shy about praising the qualities that created their wealth. Nor are they short of convenient explanations for the poverty of others -- from “the breeding habits of the poor” to “economic mismanagement” and “protectionism”. But they have always found it difficult to explain poverty in ways that do not implicate themselves, contends this contribution to an Oxford Union debate, held at Oxford University, UK.

and Other Institutional Matters
Larry Lohmann

3 May 1994

The decisive piece of evidence for the cosmetic nature of the World Bank's periodic claims to be reforming itself is that its staff are given no incentives to change their ways. The operative incentives for those who want to get anywhere at the Bank have always been to move lots of money, to find jobs for the boys, and to get and stay involved in lots of projects. This talk illustrates this predicament by referring to an "implementation review" of the Bank's forest policy.