Multilateral Banks

Worries by Brazil's government over plans by a grassroots movement to hold a plebiscite on the country's huge debt costs gathered steam this week as the vote aiming to force attention on deep social inequalities approached.
BUENOS AIRES-- Leaders of Protestant churches of Latin America, tired of alleviating social problems that they blame on neo-liberal free market policies, have decided to advance their own alternative proposals to governments and the multilateral lending institutions.
Bank of America leads the list of companies that have paid over $1 billion in penalties and fines to the U.S. government in the last six years. Violation Tracker, a new corporate misconduct database maintained by Good Jobs First, estimates that the North Carolina bank has paid $56 billion.
Disappointment at the World Bank's decision to finance the controversial Chad-Cameroon pipeline had hardly subsided when the ramifications of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment program in Cameroon risks creating Africa's latest crisis.
Hundreds of protesters in Palu, Central Sulawesi, threw rocks at the provincial headquarters of President Megawati Sukarnoputri's political party. Police fired off at least two rounds of warning shots. There have been daily protests since the government increased fuel prices by 22% a fortnight ago as part of a package of economic reforms approved by the International Monetary Fund.
MASERU, Lesotho -- Advocates of corporate accountability are pointing to the sweeping implications of a landmark verdict delivered Tuesday by the High Court in the tiny kingdom of Lesotho that a Canadian multinational company was guilty of paying bribes to win contracts on a dam project.
The Argentine government found itself Monday struggling to contain political fallout from the announcement three days earlier of major public spending cuts, as the first protesters took to the streets.
The final day of the World Bank/IMF protests ranged from stand offs between protestors and police, an obsession with violence on the part of the media, and excitement and hopefulness from organizers and activists.
The pashmina bubble that buoyed the garment industry in the late 1990s has burst. Fashion trendsetters have moved on, leaving a glut of cheap Chinese knock-offs in their wake.