Multilateral Banks

As the Congolese government begins a review of mining contracts, a mining kingpin is deported on unrelated corruption charges, and the World Bank faces accusations of failure to provide oversight of contract deals.
During the past few days a good deal of coverage has been focused on the Meltzer Commission Report on the International Financial Institutions, and what it might mean for the World Bank. Let me take this opportunity to lay out some real concerns that we at the bank have, and also to set the record straight.
Anti-tobacco campaigners argue that profitable alternatives to tobacco exist but have received little attention. Through their development aid programmes, industrialised countries have helped developing countries to increase their output of tobacco, rather than help them switch to suitable alternatives. Through the imposition of structural adjustment programmes, the World Bank has encouraged governments to support farmers who grow crops for export. While the Bank no longer lends directly to tobacco production projects, its adjustment policies have encouraged additional output.
Over a thousand environmental protesters today stormed police barricades in New Delhi, and marched up to the offices of the World Bank, demanding they be allowed to meet with visiting Bank president James Wolfensohn.
In honor of this Award, World President James ''Bonds'' Wolfensohn will receive a low-interest loan to pay for his upcoming Toxic Tour of World Bank Project sites.
A pipeline crossing the Peruvian Amazon has spilled natural gas liquids four times since it opened 15 months ago because it was shoddily built by unqualified welders using corroded pipes left from other jobs, according to a new technical report by the nonprofit environmental consultancy E-Tech International based in San Diego.
Some 5,000 demonstrators marched towards Prague's Congress Centre on Tuesday in a bid to besiege the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.
The world's rich and powerful are heading this week to their annual meeting in the plush mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland. Hosted by the great global corporations (Citigroup, Siemans, Microsoft, Nestles, etc.), some 2000 CEO's, prominent politicians, pundits and international bureaucrats will network over great food, fine wine, good skiing and cozy evenings by the fire contemplating the world's future.
Almost none of the huge amount of money "loaned" to Greece has actually gone there, writes Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank chief economist. CorpWatch's EuroZone Profiteers report sheds light on how some of it was used to pay off bad loans made by private-sector banks in France and Germany.
Activist groups that paralyzed downtown Seattle during the World Trade Organization conference late last year plan to converge on Washington in April to protest a joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.