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IMF 2017 Spring Meetings: where we are now

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We attended the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and heard nothing that would make us revise our 2017 Economic Forecast for Businesses under Trump as noted in my talk to the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce on February 14, 2017. As I noted then, we expect economic growth to continue for most of 2017. The IMF confirmed our forecast: global economic growth is projected to rise from 3.1% in 2016 to 3.5% by the end of 2017. The IMF expects global economic growth to reach 3.6% by 2018. Total global investments are expected to continue to grow from today's $212 trillion. These are stunningly good figures, and mark a complete reversal from the Fund's earlier, pre-Brexit 2016 economic forecast. Recall that the IMF predicted economic doom and gloom were Britain to exit the EU. They have softened their view, to say the least. This is not to suggest that the Fund has suddenly become a champion of the rosy scenario. (We think their growth forecast is too optimistic, by the way.) T…

World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, 2017, Brendan Cody, GWU student and Impact Investing Intern

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In April, 2000, 10,000 protesters gathered outside the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings to express passionate disapproval of globalization and to express concern about growing income inequality.

Chaos erupted and upwards of 1,000 people were arrested. Seventeen years later, at this year’s World Bank meetings, there are no protesters to be found in Foggy Bottom. The World Bank has attempted to incorporate some of the protesters’ concerns into their Spring Meeting event schedule: they have increasingly emphasized income inequality and other issues. This progress was displayed at the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Roundtable on April 18: CSOs posed their questions directly to World Bank executive directors.

The questions were direct, opening with “How can the bank do more to provide relief in wars and other crises?” Executive director Merza Hasan brought attention to the relief efforts of the past, but suggested there was room for improvement. The comments were in line with World Bank P…

Takeaways from the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings

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Each spring "the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group..bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness." We have attended this event for the past six years. Prior to the event, the IMF issues a Global Spring Meeting Economic Forecast, this year predicting the world's economy will grow by 3.2% in 2016, down from the 3.8% forecast issued last year. This decline was due mainly to an increase in political ( as opposed to purely economic) risks. Keep in mind that these are the same factors (austerity as an inappropriate focus on reducing deficits in a time of recession, inability to rationally address the causes and solution to the crisis) that led to the shallow global recovery in the first place. Our analysis indicates that the key risks to the global …

What Poor People Want

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I was at the IMF yesterday with a bunch of rich white people (@Lagarde@HelenClarkUNDP) when the subject of poor people came up.

Of course, as they do with Black people, rich white people claim to know everything there is to know about the poor. I think their main fear is that poor people will want the same deal that Goldman Sachs got, or the deal JP Morgan got, or the deal the "London Whale" or the LIBOR manipulators got. This fear is borne of a certain selfishness and greed.

It is, also, completely wrong, so I took the time to tell them what I think.

Here is what we want:

1. Water. Not privatized water systems. Access to clean water.
2. Food. Not GMO degraded, just clean food.
3. Shelter. Not subprime loans, but shelter.
4. Peace. Not the opportunity to be shot in the back by a racist cop, or a racist Israeli soldier or a Muslim extremist.

If you think about it, these are the same things that rich white people want.