Annual Meetings expectations

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The rise in food and energy prices coupled with the financial crisis will guarantee a lot of attention this year on the IMF and the World Bank. Here are a few views on this year's Annual Meetings:

Barry Eichengreen and Richard Baldwin:

Global economic and financial leaders are convening this weekend in Washington DC for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. G7/8 finance ministers will meet Friday on the sidelines of the Fund/Bank meetings to craft their response. The global financial community will assemble the next day at IMF headquarters. This is a golden opportunity for agreeing a coordinated plan.

Michael Camdessus, former IMF chief:

I express here a certain sense of frustration, because what is needed to reform the global system is what we were proposing at the end of Asian crisis...I have even recommended since 12 years was obvious we must broaden the competence and jurisdiction of the IMF into financial transactions, instead of keeping it limited to the monetary aspects and BOP (balance of payments) problem.

Avinash Persaud:

The third thing the authorities should do therefore is to support a more immediate reversal of this process by facilitating the creation of long-term liquidity pools to purchase assets...These liquidity pools need to operate internationally and therefore need to be capitalized and organized internationally. The IMF may perform this co-ordination role.

Center for Global Development:

“The IMF no longer has the financial heft to act as a lender of last resort,” said CGD president Nancy Birdsall. “But the IMF does have a key role to play in managing today’s crisis. Its leadership can help to restore confidence in the global financial system by insisting that China, Brazil, and other emerging market economies have a voice in rewriting international financial rules,” she said.

Birdsall said she welcomed World Bank president Robert Zoellick’s announcement Monday that he is creating a high-level commission to look into modernizing the governance of the World Bank Group, a step that a CGD working group on the future of the World Bank urged in 2005. She also voiced support for his call to replace the G7 with a new 14-member “Steering Group” that would include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa in addition to the current G7 members.

And here is a comprehensive list of civil society events connected to the Annual Meetings, courtesy of the Bank Information Center.


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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