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Making GCFF Financing a Win for Venezuelans and Their Colombian Hosts

As dueling claims to the Venezuela’s presidency threaten to spark further violence and devastating economic and social turmoil accelerates, the exodus of Venezuelan migrants continues. In a context of increasing pressure and the possibility of larger inflows, the World Bank recently announced that Colombia is now the third country to be eligible for the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF)—a partnership among the World Bank, United Nations, Islamic Development Bank, and others. The GCFF, which is hosted by the World Bank, offers highly concessional financing to middle-income countries hosting significant numbers of refugees. But financing is just the first step. It’s critical to learn lessons from past experience and ensure that policies are in place so that financing yields results and promotes self-reliance.

Wrong Criticisms of Doing Business

While I welcome criticism and comments on the Doing Business (DB) report—or any other data and research product of the World Bank, for that matter—I find Justin Sandefur’s and Divyanshi Wadhwa’s recent blog posts on DB in Chile and India neither enlightening nor useful. 

Chart of the Week #3: Why the World Bank Should Ditch the "Doing Business" Rankings—in One Embarrassing Chart

Last week the World Bank's Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal the Bank had manipulated its own competitiveness rankings to undermine Chile's socialist government, and hinted Chile might not be alone—then he retracted the claim. Romer's conspiracy theories probably aren't credible, but neither are the Doing Business numbers.

President Lula to Head the World Bank? Process Matters, Too

Last week the Guardian reported that the Obama Administration has approached President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil about becoming the next President of the World Bank. Seems unlikely to me – for one thing it’s early, since Robert Zoellick’s term lasts another three years, and the Administration has many other fish it is frying right now.

Oil Nationalization? Why Chad is No Bolivia

Idriss Deby, President of ChadChad has expelled oil giants Chevron and Petronas from the country for allegedly failing to pay taxes. The press seems to be suggesting that the move is either another Bolivia-style nationalization or simply the government moving the American and Malaysian companies out of the way for another investor: