The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group were held online this week. The pandemic, revised growth projections, recovery finance, possible debt crisis in emerging markets, and climate change were high on the agenda. Four highlights. First, on access to vaccines for developing countries, the Development Committee showed good intention but as WHO Director General recalled the elephant in the room remains the lack of support for the WTO intellectual property waiver : “As you know a provision in the TRIPS agreement was made to wave intellectual property during emergencies. We have not seen an emergency like this in our lifetime. If we can’t use it now, when are we going to use it. [25’40”]” Second, on debt relief for developing countries, the grace period for repayment was extended to end of 2021 but debt cancellation is still not in sight. Third, the allocation of $650 billion worth of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to support the recovery was probably the biggest news. A useful explanatory thread from Eurodad shows how this will not be enough for developing countries because, while SDRs do not create further debt, their allocation is skewed towards high-income countries and will not even cover debt-service payments for 2021. And fourth, the April 2021 Fiscal Monitor‘s call to tax rich people and companies to finance the recovery while reducing inequalities made Oxfam happy.
The Roger Peterson Field Guide to Birds – I purchased a vintage European edition – is very complete and easy to use. As Spring starts and lockdown continues, this is a great gift to self or to others to identify which species are your garden or local park. And it is also praised by seasoned birdwatchers.
This graph from Axylia shows the difference between the value of a “classic” Danone share compared to one that integrates the drop in CO2 emissions since Emmanuel Faber had been appointed CEO.
This is LSE head Minouche Shafik’s favorite Lao Tzu quote: “Of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”