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Views from the Center

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IMF Gold Sales Should Fund Low-Interest Loans for Poor Countries

On April 29, U.S. House of Representatives Democrat, Rep. Barney Frank, said that he supports authorization by the U.S. Congress of gold sales by the International Monetary Fund, on the condition that $4 billion of the proceeds go to poor countries. He also said that the U.S. Treasury backs his position. This is all good news regarding the IMF’s sale of 1/8th of its gold reserves, approximately 403 tons.

At The G-20 Summit, Nothing for Africa

Five years after Africa was centerstage at a meeting of the G7 heads of state in Gleneagles, it has all but vanished from the priorities of policymakers from the rich and emerging economies. At the G20 Summit in London this week, heads of state will debate new resources for the IMF, in the range of $250 billion. But these resources will likely be deposited in the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) facility, which will be far too expensive and out of reach of most African countries.

Spain, the G-20, and the Need for Reform of Global Governance Systems

The Spanish press reports that Spain's prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has been officially invited to the G-20 summit in London in April as well as the preparatory meeting in Berlin. Spain was invited by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (El Mundo (Spain)/Factiva). The Spanish government has campaigned vigorously to be included in the G-20, despite the fact the European Union is already represented.