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Following last week’s dramatic joint announcement out of Washington and Havana, many doors are likely to open for Cuba. One priority for the Cuban government should be membership in the multilateral development banks (MDBs).
I’m clearly not much of a prognosticator. In highlighting, with skepticism, the World Bank’s new Global Infrastructure Facility as a major G-20 Brisbane outcome on infrastructure, I missed far more of the actual agenda than I should have.
As we approach the G-20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane, it is worth giving credit to Australia for its robust presidency, and particularly the attention paid to the G-20’s development agenda. Sandwiched between the Russian and Turkish presidencies—countries considerably more controversial these days in the West—Australia faced the difficult task of generating sufficient goodwill among the membership within a year to make some progress on a sprawling work plan.
There are no doubt a number of new realities created by the US Supreme Court’s decision this week to let stand a lower court ruling supporting hedge fund bond holders who refused to accept reduced payments after Argentina’s 2001 default.
In the world of sovereign debt workouts, the relationship between Argentina and the Paris Club has tended to look like Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football. Time and again, Argentina (Lucy) would earnestly declare interest in striking a deal to repay its debt to club creditors only to pull back at the last minute. So imagine everyone’s surprise at this week’s announcement that Charlie Brown finally got to kick the football.
The World Bank’s governors will meet this weekend to check in on president Jim Kim’s ambitious reform agenda. Anticipating the weekend’s meetings, the bank has rolled out a series of measures through press releases and speeches over the past two weeks, including the announcement of new global practice leaders, a set of financing measures to boost the bank’s lending capacity, and a completed IDA-17 replenishment agreement.
The IMF, World Bank, EBRD, and the European Investment Bank have all emerged as significant players in the dramatic events in Ukraine in recent weeks. The Obama administration has very visibly sought to educate Congress on the central role of the IMF in helping to shore up the country’s shaky economy. And the three development banks have figured prominently in press releases coming from the European Union and the United States as a demonstration of the international community’s support for Ukraine’s interim government.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker have a baffling post up on the Council on Foreign Relations website, calling out Treasury Secretary Lew for making the factual statement that congressional passage of IMF quota reform “would support the fund’s capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine.”