Posts filed under ‘Debt’

Bank of the South: a new step toward independence

Officials from seven countries met in Rio de Janeiro to create a Bank of the South. (Douglas Engle/Bloomberg News)


A new “Bank of the South”, proposed by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez last year as an alternative to the Washington-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, will be officially launched on 5 December this year.

It will make development loans to its member countries, with a focus on regional economic integration. This is important because these countries want to increase their trade, energy and commercial relationships for both economic and political reasons, just as the European Union has done over the last 50 years.

Unlike the Washington-based international financial institutions, the new bank will not impose economic policy conditions on its borrowers. The bank is expected to start with capital of about $7 billion, with all member countries contributing. It will be governed primarily on a one-country, one-vote basis.

Below is a commentary on the “Bank of the South” by Washington-based economist Mark Weisbrot from the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). It was reproduced with permission in the SUNS #6361, Thursday, 8 November 2007.

With best wishes
Martin Khor

Check also this article from IFIs latin America website

Latin America Sets Up Its Own “Bank of the South”
By Mark Weisbrot, Washington DC, 6 November 2007

“Developing nations must create their own mechanisms of finance instead of suffering under those of the IMF and the World Bank, which are institutions of rich nations … it is time to wake up.”

That was Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil – not Washington’s nemesis, Hugo Chavez – speaking in the Republic of Congo just two weeks ago.

Although the US foreign policy establishment remains in cosy denial about it, the recognition that Washington’s economic policies and institutions have failed miserably in Latin America is broadly shared among leaders in the region.

Commentators here – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the editorial boards and op-ed contributors in major newspapers – have taken pains to distinguish “good” leftist presidents (Lula of Brazil and Michele Bachelet of Chile) from the “bad” ones – Chavez of Venezuela, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Evo Morales of Bolivia and, depending on the pundit, sometimes Nestor Kirchner of Argentina.


November 26, 2007 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs


Semana de Acción Global contra la Deuda y las IFIs
Por la Anulación y No pago de todas las Deudas Espurias

Versión en español al final del artículo en inglés

Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs [International Financial Institutions] for Cancellation and Non-payment of all Spurious Debts

Translated by Martin Allen 

From Haiti to Argentina, passing through Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Paraguay and other countries of our region, Jubileo Sur/Américas [‘South American Jubilee’] joins the Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs to condemn the domination still exercised by those instruments of oppression, and to give voice to our proposals for setting up solid foundations for the working of an autonomous financial system, serving peoples’ needs and rights.

For that purpose, the Week of Action being held worldwide from 14th to 21st October begins in Latin America and the Caribbean on October 12th, uniting us with the mobilisation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in defence of their territories, cultures and resources, and supporting their rejection of the policies of indebtedness, opening-up and imposition of conditions driven by International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank. The encouragement given by those bodies to open-cast mining, deforestation, monocultures, establishment of polluting industries and control of water supplies, bio-diversity and even the air we breathe, demonstrates the part they play in maintaining and increasing the millennial smash-and-grab and appropriation of the very sources of life.

The Week of Action also begins on 12th October with the establishment in Nicaragua of the Permanent Tribunal of Peoples, to judge the case of the Spanish corporation Unión Fenosa, sadly re-christened Unión Penosa on account of the havoc caused by its activities in privatising electricity in that and other countries of the region.


October 21, 2007 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment


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