– Zoellick speech on the eve of Istanbul: Current upheaval = French revolution, Africa’s growth potential = Europe’s with Marshall Plan. Earth-shaking changes: “Bretton Woods is being overhauled before our eyes.”
– Impartial observers like Nancy Birdsall noticed more “the timidity of planned reforms” like glacial reform on quota/voting power at the IMF and the World Bank.
– A communiqué issued yesterday offered more of the same weak brew, and reiterated the World Bank’s imaginary new poverty numbers: “As a result of the crisis, by end-2010, some 90 million more people risk being forced into extreme poverty.”
– “To combat the staggering statistic,” reported the WSJ, the World Bank is now pushing for its first capital increase in 20 years.
– Everyone is squeezing on the World Bank to lend more money to poor countries without conditions. The UK said no more money for the Bank unless it could speed up loans to Sub-Saharan Africa. A group of African Finance ministers, represented by lavish aid recipient autocracy Ethiopia, asked for more money and more loans without conditions, like that tiresome governance crap.
– Should you need up-to-the minute updates on Zoellick’s earth-shaking changes, you can follow the appointed World Bank/IMF “Tweeter-in-chief” who is live-blogging the conference, or try the tag #wbmeets for other tweets on the topic.