Issues / Trade & Finance
The military captures almost one-half of the entire federal discretionary budget--money for everything the government does from the FBI to Head Start, excluding only mandatory spending, primarily interest on the national debt and entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.
For most of the worlds poorest countries, multilateral debt looms larger than other debts because of the IFIs status as "preferred creditors," as providers of core development and balance-of-payment loans.
Environmentalists are increasingly demanding that international rules and corporate norms governing investment explicitly embrace environmental and social performance goals.
The twenty-first century requires new paths that encourage exchanges of goods, capital, and people that enhance the social and environmental common good and that discourage or stop those exchanges that undermine healthy communities, a clean environment, and dignified work.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a wholly owned government corporation established in 1971, provides taxpayer-backed loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to U.S. businesses for investments in "politically risky" countries.
The Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) is an independent U.S. government agency established in 1934 to create jobs through exports.
An alternative package of architectural reforms: Bretton Woods Light
As neoliberal policies foster greater privatization of the international financial system, countries must rely almost entirely on private financial flows to finance trade, to settle international accounts, even to meet domestic credit needs.
For the past decade, through both Republican and Democratic administrations, the U.S. government has promoted a model of free-market global capitalism that it claimed would benefit the great majority of people both at home and abroad. This model has failed.
Environmental concerns have been at the leading edge of a movement to reform the World Bank over the past 15 years.