IMF Economic Reports: Inequality and Poverty Rising Amidst COVID Crisis

Washington DC – Analyzing the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus, the International Monetary Fund released the Global Financial Stability Report and the 2020 World Economic Outlook Report, "A Long and Difficult Ascent." The economic outlook report projects global economic growth to contract 4.4%.

"While we understand that the IMF wants to look at the crisis with some positivity, the word ascent has little place in this report. It seems that most countries are still descending,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert. “More than 90 million people could enter the ranks of extreme poverty this year and many countries will lose development gains they have made since the 1990s.”

According to the World Economic Outlook Report, income disparities between developed and developing economies is projected to worsen.

"It's not a surprise that the coronavirus economic crisis will worsen inequality and extreme poverty," said LeCompte. "Nearly 90% of all global stimulus was spent in wealthy countries and less than 3% in developing countries."

The IMF cautions that its projections rely on hard to predict public health and economic factors and outcomes could be worse.

The IMF Global Financial Stability report addressed the rising financial needs of developing countries due to the pandemic and rising costs of borrowing.

“Developing countries need their debts cut and access to more aid if they are to survive this crisis,” noted LeCompte.

The G20, IMF and World Bank are meeting this week on responses to the coronavirus health and economic crisis.

Read the IMF's World Economic Outlook report here.

Read the IMF's Global Financial Stability report here.

 

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Devex Features Eric LeCompte on UN High-Level Covid Financing Meeting

Dozens of world leaders gathered to discuss the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic at the United Nations High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and debt finance exert, was quoted by Devex on the meting. “From what we see, liquidity and development needs surpass $1 trillion in developing countries,” LeCompte said. “At this time a high allocation would help meet that demand. A lower allocation would be helpful but wouldn’t meet the full demand in terms COVID response and liquidity issues.” Read more here.

Proposals and pressure mount for more action on COVID-19 financing

By Adva Saldinger 

Dozens of heads of state, top United Nations officials, and the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund gathered virtually last week in the largest convening of its kind about the economic response to COVID-19. They discussed a number of proposals from an ongoing U.N. process and pushed the Group of 20 and other multilateral bodies to take further action.

“Failing to take action now is not a failure of generosity but an act of self-harm,” Mark Lowcock, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said at the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, summing up the urgency expressed at the event.

This meeting was part of a process started by the U.N. in May to address funding the pandemic response. The process has focused on six key areas — external finance, remittances, jobs and inclusive growth; recovering better for sustainability; global liquidity and financial stability, debt vulnerability; private sector creditors engagement; and illicit financial flows — each of which had a discussion group working over the past few months to come up with a specific menu of options.

While this was a U.N. process, it “acknowledged that any decisions in the short to medium term will be made by the G-20, IMF, and World Bank,” Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, told Devex.

The menu of options developed through the process for finance ministers and governments was done with the “intention to be able to influence the choices and decisions the G-20, IMF, and World Bank are making between now and the end of the year.”

Menu of Policy Recommendations

While policy recommendations that emerged from the process range from new mechanisms for trade and investment to doubling down on digitization of economies, much of the discussion last week, and in the weeks and months ahead is likely to focus on debt relief and providing additional liquidity.

In April the G-20 approved the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, or DSSI, which essentially deferred debt payments for the world’s poorest countries through the end of this year. There is now a clear push for the G-20 to extend that initiative, but also to do more to compel private creditors to defer debt payments, consider relief for middle-income countries and come up with a system for debt restructuring.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the need for debt relief in his remarks at the event, calling for it to be “expanded to all developing and middle-income countries that really need it; and these countries must have more time to make payments,” he said. “Any comprehensive solution must include engagement with private creditors and credit rating agencies.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said DSSI does not go far enough, and South Africa supports extending the initiative and in some cases considering debt cancellation. He also welcomed attention in the process to illicit financial flows “which pose a serious threat” to the economic and development trajectory of African countries.

Those illicit financial flows result in the African continent losing about $50 billion a year, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said, adding that it’s critical to ensure transparency in how COVID-19 financing relief is spent.

It is “paramount to sustain and support people and businesses until a durable exit from the pandemic is achieved everywhere,” IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said at the meeting. “In low-income countries and emerging markets with weak fundamentals, it can only be done with international support.”

Georgieva called on the G-20 to extend DSSI, and for all creditors to work together to develop an “orderly” debt restructuring process.

Any future debt process should draw from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative launched by IMF and World Bank in 1996, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said at the meeting. Chakwera, who is also the chair of the 47 Least Developed Countries called for a “global stimulus package for LDCs in order to save economies and societies from collapse.”

While debt relief and access to finance is important, LDCs also need grant-based aid to recover, he said.

Africa’s finance ministers have asked for $100 billion a year for the next three years and have received less than $50 billion to date, Vera Songwe, executive secretary at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa told Devex.

The world’s wealthy countries have mobilized about $13 trillion in seven months, so providing Africa with $100 billion “is affordable and within their remit,” Songwe said in an interview with Devex.

Multilateral development banks also have an important role to play in providing additional capital, Songwe said. Donor countries should commit to recapitalizing the MDBs so they can lend more freely without being concerned that they will spend down all the funds they raised in recent capital increases, she said.

Other proposals were floated through the process, including a new fund that would support emerging economies, debt for climate swaps, proposals for mobilizing private sector engagement, improving tax administration, and more.

While the long menu of options developed and shared with governments included a lot of “actual possibilities,” in the short-term “only a handful are actually actionable,” LeCompte said.

 

What's Next

While last week’s convening had few concrete commitments, the upcoming World Bank and G-20 meetings are expected to result in some tangible announcements, most likely on debt relief, sources tell Devex.

A G-7 finance ministers meeting on Sept. 25 may provide some clues as to what those upcoming meetings might bring. The G-7 released a statement after that meeting saying it supports extending DSSI and supports the development of a common framework for future debt restructuring.

The statement also criticized China, though not by name, for classifying large state-owned financial institutions as commercial lenders and excluding them from DSSI. Those institutions will be treated as commercial claims in future debt treatments, according to the statement, which also pushed private creditors to implement the debt suspension initiative.

Later this month the G-20 and IMF are likely to announce an extension of DSSI through June, and may also address the issue of debt reduction with more specificity, though a framework is likely to take several months to develop, LeCompte said.

The upcoming G-20 and World Bank meetings will likely also discuss what to do with IMF Special Drawing Rights, which would provide countries with additional liquidity. Wealthy countries could decide to donate existing SDRs, about $176 billion worth, to poor countries through concessional lending facilities — Canada has already said that it will do so.

At the high-level event. Georgieva urged other countries to follow Canada’s lead and allow IMF to use existing special drawing rights to help countries in need.

The G-20 could also decide to support a new allocation of SDRs. If the issuance is below a $648 billion quota it would not require congressional or parliamentary approval, which seems a more palatable option for leaders. Some experts however have called for between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in SDRs to meet global needs.

“From what we see, liquidity and development needs surpass $1 trillion in developing countries,” LeCompte said. “At this time a high allocation would help meet that demand. A lower allocation would be helpful but wouldn’t meet the full demand in terms COVID response and liquidity issues.”

Read more here.

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IMF Calls for New Global Debt Policies to Confront COVID Financial Crisis

Washington DC - IMF head Kristalina Georgieva warned that developing countries could face a second wave of economic crises just as they are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. "... There is a need to reform the international debt 'architecture' ... to provide speedy and sufficiently deep debt relief to countries that need it, benefitting not only these countries but the system as a whole," wrote Georgieva and other top IMF officials in a Fund blog published Thursday.
 
"The IMF is declaring that global processes and policies must be reformed to address skyrocketing debt levels and countries facing debt crises," shared Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA and a UN finance expert. "If we had better debt processes in place before the coronavirus struck, we may not have experienced an economic crisis of this magnitude."
 
In addition to international debt policy and process reforms, the Georgieva blog asserts the G20 should continue suspending debt payments for poor countries.

In April, the G20 agreed to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, a process for the 73 poorest countries to stop paying debts through 2020. The initiative allowed 43 of the poorest countries to free $5.3 billion for health and social spending to respond to the pandemic. Without G20 action, the initiative expires at the end of the year. 

"Unless we move forward additional aid and debt relief, too many countries could see lost decades of development," said LeCompte.

According to the IMF, about half of low-income countries faced severely high debt levels or financial crisis prior to the onslaught of COVID-19.

"Debt relief and aid needs to be increased and expanded to include more developing countries struggling to confront the health and economic impacts of the pandemic," noted LeCompte. "As we reform debt processes and policies to meet this current crisis, we must also strengthen processes to prepare us to combat future financial crises."

Read Georgieva's IMF blog here
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UN, Presidents and Prime Ministers Discuss Coronavirus Financial Crisis Solutions

Washington DC – Presidents, prime ministers and world leaders focused on solutions for the global economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus at a virtual United Nations meeting. "Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond," is the largest heads of state meeting organized to confront the financial crisis created by the pandemic. 

"Six months into the pandemic and hundreds of millions of people are experiencing hunger, losing their jobs and being thrown into the ranks of poverty," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. LeCompte was part of the multi-month process that developed the options considered by world leaders at the special UN meeting. "Poor and vulnerable people bear the brunt of this economic crisis."

The UN estimates 265 million people now face famine and 100 million people will enter extreme poverty due to the pandemic. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, 500 million jobs were lost according to the International Labor Organization.

Developing countries spent less than 3% of the $11 trillion spent on COVID stimulus packages and economic aid. Nearly 90% of these stimulus monies were spent in wealthy countries.

"World leaders are considering options to bolster crisis response aid for developing countries," stated LeCompte. "Debt relief, curbing tax evasion and accessing global reserve funds are some of the options on the table."

The heads of state meeting was convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau and Andrew Holmes, the Prime Minister of Jamaica.

In October the G20, IMF and World Bank could implement some of the solutions discussed at the UN meeting.

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Puerto Rico Victory, Senate Decides

Friends,

We are writing to share exciting news. After our win last week on Puerto Rico disaster aid, the House just included pandemic-related food aid for schoolchildren in Puerto Rico as part of the continuing resolution extending government funding.

Your calls and the leadership of Puerto Rico's religious leaders are moving forward all of our Jubilee USA Puerto Rico campaigns.

While we believe our efforts secured bipartisan agreement and this measure will pass the Senate next week, please make an urgent call to help address the reality that nearly 60% of all kids in Puerto Rico live in poverty.

Call your Senators and tell them to ensure that they join the House in supporting this funding vital for the most vulnerable in Puerto Rico.

On August 1st, Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) benefits that impact more than 1.5 million were reduced because funding ran out. 

The funding means that 300,000 children will have food.

Ask your Senators to support crucial food aid for the most vulnerable children as Puerto Rico recovers from hurricanes and wrestles with a debt crisis.

Below you can read more about our Puerto Rico campaigns, our disaster aid victory last week and the President's endorsement of the island's religious leader call for job creation.

We are so grateful for your partnership and that together - Jubilee USA continues to win our campaigns from Congress to the G20 to the IMF.

In hope,

Zach

Zachary Conti
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Aldo Caliari, Jubilee USA Network <coord@jubileeusa.org>
Date: Sun, Sept 20, 2020 at 8:30 AM
Subject: Puerto Rico Win! Hurricane Maria Anniversary Actions


Friends,

As we near the three-year anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma slamming Puerto Rico, we remember the 3000 lives lost and more than $100 billion in damages across the island.

The White House announced on Friday that FEMA will award $13 billion in Puerto Rico disaster aid to rebuild the power grid and schools. The President also said he supported the call of Puerto Rico's religious leaders and Jubilee USA to bring pharmaceutical jobs back to the island.

You made this possible because of the tens of thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters you sent to the White House and Congress since the hurricanes hit. Now - three years after the hurricanes hit, Puerto Rico is still trying to recover and wrestles with a debt crisis. Please join me and call your Senators to approve the remaining relief that Puerto Rico needs.

Since 2015, Puerto Rico's religious leaders and Jubilee USA pressed Congress and the White House on debt relief. When Hurricanes Maria and Irma decimated Puerto Rico in 2017, disaster recovery efforts became intertwined with debt relief.

Because of our work together with Puerto Rico's religious leaders, we've won $44 billion in relief aid. With Friday's White House announcement, $26 billion of those $44 billion are now moving forward.

Call the Senate now. We need to move forward the rest of the relief we won and move forward an estimated $50 to $80 billion in disaster assistance. The Senate is considering proposals to reduce Puerto Rico's child poverty rate and job creation.

The US Territory dealt with a series of earthquakes earlier this year and continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Puerto Rico needs Senate action to rebuild from hurricanes, multiple natural disasters, a debt crisis and rising joblessness and poverty. In order to fully recover, Puerto Rico will need more disaster aid and debt relief.

Last July, 11 religious leaders representing more than 95% of Puerto Rico’s population wrote Congress on the growing challenges facing the island. The letter asked for additional disaster recovery monies, measures to bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs to Puerto Rico and the authorization of $1.2 billion for Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that impact 1.5 million people on the island. The letter was signed by leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical Churches. The Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the General Bible Society also added their names to the letter to Congress.

Puerto Rico's debt crisis and natural disaster vulnerabilities are flip sides of the same coin. Debt crisis solutions must ensure Puerto Rico is prepared to respond, withstand and recover from natural disasters and external shocks.

Your actions continue to make a big difference and as the Senate considers a range of Puerto Rico proposals, your action is needed now.

Up to this day, thousands of family homes remain damaged or destroyed, with residents living under blue tarp roofs. Please call your Senators and urge them to act.

Gratefully,

Aldo

Aldo Caliari
Senior Director of Policy and Campaigns
Jubilee USA Network
aldo@jubileeusa.org
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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G7 Finance Ministers Support Debt Relief for Poor Countries Combating COVID-19 Crisis

Washington DC - The G7 supports a process for debt cancellation for vulnerable countries, they announced this morning after Treasury convened a special Finance Ministers meeting. In a G7 statement, the ministers also encouraged an extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) into next year for the world’s 73 poorest countries.

"The G7 recognizes that some countries will need debt cancellation and now is calling for a process to cut debts," stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert. "With the poorest countries struggling with the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus, countries desperately need more aid and debt relief."

In April, the G20 agreed to a process for the 73 poorest countries to stop paying debts through 2020. So far, the initiative has allowed 43 of the poorest countries to free $5.3 billion for health and social spending to respond to the pandemic.

The G7 statement encouraged private creditors and banks to "voluntarily" participate in the debt payment suspension and seemed to criticize China for not fully participating in the initiative.

"Reading between the lines, the G7's statement is hard on China and weak on private creditor participation," said LeCompte. "All Chinese government entities should stop taking debt payments from poor countries and stronger action must be taken to ensure the private sector joins the coronavirus debt relief initiatives."

Earlier this month, several Finance Ministers joined the World Bank and IMF chiefs in calling to extend the DSSI into 2021 and arguing that private creditors should stop collecting poor country debts.

"It's time to extend debt relief initiatives to all developing countries, including Middle-Income Countries, struggling with the coronavirus pandemic," shared LeCompte. 

In October and November, G20, IMF and World Bank meetings will discuss the future of coronavirus debt suspension and relief efforts.

Read the G7 Statement here.

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Reuters, Financial Post, and other outlets quote Eric LeCompte on G7 Finance Ministers' Meeting

Reuters, the Financial Post, and other outlets quoted Eric LeCompte as G7 finance ministers backed an extension of a G20 temporary freeze in debt payments. Read more here.

 

G7 ministers back extension of debt freeze for poorest nations, urge reforms

by: Andrea Shalal, Tetsushi Kajimoto, Leigh Thomas

“Pressure is mounting on China,” said Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. “They’re being very specific here. All Chinese government entities should stop taking debt payments from poor countries.”

The ministers called again on private lenders to participate when requested, noting that their absence from the process has limited the potential benefits for several countries.

The G7 finance ministers’ backing for an extension will smooth the way for a decision by the larger G20, with a formal decision likely at their leaders’ summit in November.

Read more here.

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Developing Countries Lose Trillions from Crime and Tax Abuse, Says UN Panel

Washington DC – A high-level United Nations panel report says global policies are needed to prevent trillions of dollars escaping developing countries through tax abuse and corruption. The UN group includes former heads of state, past central bank governors, business leaders and prominent academics.

"As countries combat the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus, they could use the lost revenues from tax avoidance, crime and corruption," stated Eric LeCompte, United Nations finance expert and Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "Countries can emerge from the pandemic with resilience and fund public services if we can curb these staggering revenue losses."

The United Nations High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel), reported that around $1.6 trillion is laundered per year. Due to corporate tax avoidance in the form of profit-shifting, $500 billion is lost to governments each year globally. The UN panel report comes only days after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the “FinCEN files," revealing that global banks moved more than $2 trillion over an 18-year period in suspicious transactions due to a lack of enforcement.

"Hopefully the report is a wake-up call," said LeCompte. "We must move forward global agreements and policies that increase transparency in the financial system."

The FACTI panel will release a final report in February 2021. 

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Puerto Rico Win! Hurricane Maria Anniversary Actions

Friends,

As we near the three-year anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma slamming Puerto Rico, we remember the 3000 lives lost and more than $100 billion in damages across the island.

The White House announced on Friday that FEMA will award $13 billion in Puerto Rico disaster aid to rebuild the power grid and schools. The President also said he supported the call of Puerto Rico's religious leaders and Jubilee USA to bring pharmaceutical jobs back to the island.

You made this possible because of the tens of thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters you sent to the White House and Congress since the hurricanes hit. Now - three years after the hurricanes hit, Puerto Rico is still trying to recover and wrestles with a debt crisis. Please join me and call your Senators to approve the remaining relief that Puerto Rico needs.

Since 2015, Puerto Rico's religious leaders and Jubilee USA pressed Congress and the White House on debt relief. When Hurricanes Maria and Irma decimated Puerto Rico in 2017, disaster recovery efforts became intertwined with debt relief.

Because of our work together with Puerto Rico's religious leaders, we've won $44 billion in relief aid. With Friday's White House announcement, $26 billion of those $44 billion are now moving forward.

Call the Senate now. We need to move forward the rest of the relief we won and move forward an estimated $50 to $80 billion in disaster assistance. The Senate is considering proposals to reduce Puerto Rico's child poverty rate and job creation.

The US Territory dealt with a series of earthquakes earlier this year and continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Puerto Rico needs Senate action to rebuild from hurricanes, multiple natural disasters, a debt crisis and rising joblessness and poverty. In order to fully recover, Puerto Rico will need more disaster aid and debt relief.

Last July, 11 religious leaders representing more than 95% of Puerto Rico’s population wrote Congress on the growing challenges facing the island. The letter asked for additional disaster recovery monies, measures to bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs to Puerto Rico and the authorization of $1.2 billion for Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that impact 1.5 million people on the island. The letter was signed by leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical Churches. The Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the General Bible Society also added their names to the letter to Congress.

Puerto Rico's debt crisis and natural disaster vulnerabilities are flip sides of the same coin. Debt crisis solutions must ensure Puerto Rico is prepared to respond, withstand and recover from natural disasters and external shocks.

Your actions continue to make a big difference and as the Senate considers a range of Puerto Rico proposals, your action is needed now.

Up to this day, thousands of family homes remain damaged or destroyed, with residents living under blue tarp roofs. Please call your Senators and urge them to act.

Gratefully,

Aldo

Aldo Caliari
Senior Director of Policy and Campaigns
Jubilee USA Network
aldo@jubileeusa.org
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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White House Announces Puerto Rico Disaster Relief on Hurricane Anniversary

Washington DC - The Federal Emergency Management Administration will award $13 billion in Puerto Rico disaster aid to rebuild the power grid and education facilities, announced the White House. The announcement comes near the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria slamming the island, taking 3000 lives and causing more than $100 billion in damage. 

“Puerto Rico needs these funds to rebuild from hurricanes, multiple natural disasters, a debt crisis and rising joblessness and poverty,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. “In order to fully recover, Puerto Rico will need more disaster aid and debt relief."

The US Territory dealt with a series of earthquakes earlier this year and continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Last July, 11 religious leaders representing more than 95% of Puerto Rico’s population wrote Congress on the growing challenges facing the island. The letter asked for additional disaster recovery monies, measures to bring back manufacturing jobs to Puerto Rico and the authorization of $1.2 billion for Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that impact 1.5 million people on the island. The letter was signed by leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical Churches. The Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the General Bible Society also added their names to the letter to Congress.

Since 2015, Puerto Rico's religious leaders and Jubilee USA pressed Congress and the White House on debt relief. When Hurricanes Maria and Irma decimated Puerto Rico in 2017, disaster recovery efforts became intertwined with debt relief.

“Puerto Rico's debt crisis and natural disaster vulnerabilities are flip sides of the same coin,” LeCompte added. "Debt crisis solutions must ensure Puerto Rico is prepared to respond, withstand and recover from natural disasters and external shocks."

According to the White House, the additional recovery funds bring total Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria relief to $26 billion.

Read Jubilee USA's Puerto Rico religious leader press release.

Read the Puerto Rico religious leader letter.

Read the Puerto Rico release and letter in español.

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Les Echos quotes Eric LeCompte on election of IDB President

Les Echos, the first and one of the largest daily financial newspapers in France, featured Eric LeCompte's comments on the recent election of Mauricio Claver-Carone as the president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Read the full article here.

Le candidat de Trump élu à la tête de la BID

By Thierry Ogier

Mauricio Claver-Carone devient le premier Américain à présider la Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID), au terme d'un scrutin controversé et dans une conjoncture particulièrement délicate.

Réglé comme du papier à musique. Le stratagème conçu par Donald Trump pour faire élire un de ses conseillers à la tête de la Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID) a parfaitement fonctionné. Mauricio Claver-Carone, un Américain d'origine cubaine âgé de quarante-cinq ans, a été porté samedi à la présidence de l'institution avec 68 % des voix.

Candidat unique, il est parvenu à surmonter les critiques de ses opposants qui auraient préféré reporter le scrutin en mars, en raison de la pandémie. Malgré le retrait de la candidature de l'Argentine, farouche adversaire de Washington, le taux d'abstention de 25 %, qui aurait permis d'invalider le scrutin, n'a pas été atteint. L'administration Trump a notamment fait pression sur le Mexique et les Etats d'Amérique centrale.

Ainsi, et pour la première fois en 61 ans d'histoire, un ressortissant des Etats-Unis va diriger cette institution, qui est l'une des principales sources de financement pour l'Amérique latine et les Caraïbes.

Faucon

« On n'a jamais vu ça dans l'histoire de la BID, assure Roberto Simon, directeur du Council of Americas, mettant en cause le profil idéologique du vainqueur. Ce n'est pas seulement le fait que ce soit un Américain qui l'ait emporté (NDLR : en violation d'une règle non écrite qui réserve la présidence de la BID à un Latino-américain), mais Claver-Carone est vraiment quelqu'un qui a travaillé à la Maison-Blanche sous l'administration Trump, dont il était le conseiller pour l'Amérique latine, avec des vues très radicales sur Cuba, le Venezuela et le Nicaragua. »

De quoi plaire toutefois à l'électorat hispanique en Floride, voire même aider Donald Trump dans la course à la Maison-Blanche… Le secrétaire d'Etat américain Mike Pompeo n'a pour sa part pas tardé à saluer la victoire d'un « grand défenseur des institutions démocratiques ». Cette mainmise sur l'organisation lui permettra également de freiner l'influence grandissante de la Chine dans la région.

Pandémie

Mauricio Claver-Carone va succéder au colombien Luis Alberto Moreno dès le 1er octobre. « Le rôle de la BID n'a jamais été aussi crucial qu'à présent. L'Amérique latine, qui est l'épicentre de la pandémie, subit le choc économique le plus sévère de l'histoire », affirme Roberto Simon.

Le Brésil, qui avait retiré sa candidature pour soutenir celle des Etats-Unis, souligne que « la BID aura un rôle pour mobiliser les ressources nécessaires et appuyer la reprise économique de la région, essentiellement par le biais du secteur privé et des infrastructures ».

Elections américaines

Certains ne dissimulent guère leurs craintes. « Claver-Carone devra administrer la banque sans prendre parti afin que les pays de la région puissent échapper à cette crise », estime Eric Le Compte, directeur de Jubilee USA Network, une ONG catholique à Washington.

Autre interrogation : en cas de victoire de Joe Biden à l'élection présidentielle de novembre, le nouveau président de la BID, soutenu par Donald Trump,  pourrait se retrouver en porte à faux. « Cette polarisation au sein de la banque risquerait de l'affaiblir », affirme un observateur, et ce précisément au moment où la banque aura besoin d'une augmentation de capital pour faire face aux nouvelles demandes de financement.

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