Multilateral Banks

Pittsburgh -- In a speech today to the Ninth World Steel Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, United Steelworkers of America (USWA) international president Leo W. Gerard assailed the U.S. Treasury for supporting International Monetary Fund (IMF) financing plans for developing countries that exploit workers, drive up the U.S. trade deficit, and wipe out millions of American manufacturing jobs.
But these jujitsu tactics may be running out of steam. Political momentum against the IMF ratcheted up in recent weeks, when the Meltzer Commission, a bipartisan advisory commission to the U.S. Congress, released its report.
Every year the World Bank and its regional counterparts such as the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, collectively known as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), lend $45 billion to the so-called ''developing'' world.
Activists, businessmen and government leaders met on Tuesday in the shadow of the U.N. Millennium Summit, agonizing over the future of economic globalization following the disruption of the WTO in Seattle and how to narrow the widening gap between rich and poor.
April's big business-led coup in Venezuela failed, where international finance's coup in Argentina in recent months has succeeded. Greg Palast gives us the inside track on two very different power-grabs.
In April 2000, some 30,000 activists came to Washington to protest the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. The fall meetings are an even more important target for protests: instead of a few hundred bankers and bureaucrats, about 20,000 usually descend on Washington for the annual meetings.
Under a strong summer sun and a broad political proclamation that "Another world is possible," tens of thousands of activists from around the world are arriving here for the second annual World Social Forum. The host, like last year, is Brazil's southernmost major city, capital of the state of Rio Grande de Sul.
The mining industry has a worldwide image problem. In developing and developed countries alike, the public tends to regard mines as dirty, dangerous and disruptive - and those who stand to profit from them as greedy despoilers.
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.