Category: Odious Debts

Wanted by U.S.: The stolen millions of despots and crooked elites

The United States’ Kleptocracy initiative is aimed at holding foreign government officials to account and preventing them from using the U.S. as a haven for money looted from their own countries. Although solid wins are rare, tying up a corrupt foreign leader’s money in the courts is seen as a victory, writes Leslie Wayne for The New York Times.

Foreign NGOs under increasing pressure in China

China considers new law aimed at crackdown on foreign NGO operations and funding of activities feared threatening to Communist rule. Probe International, named as one of several international foundations in a recent criminal investigation, told the New York Times: “From our perspective in Canada, it is perplexing that such activities [researching and writing articles and reports, and giving university lectures] would be considered illegal.”

MDB “knowledge” banks

Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff says “far too little attention has been devoted to understanding why multilateral development lending has so often failed”. In his experience, MDBs are most valuable as “knowledge” banks — sharing soft development infrastructure such as experience and best practices rather than financial muscle. The latter, he says, has led to their “greatest failures”.