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Banking, Finance & micro-credit

Microfinance arouses extreme opinions. Many believe it is the way to aid the developing world out of poverty, while others think it is a market solution to social problems that governments should deal with through welfare.
Uruguay, once regarded as a backwater, is taking on the Big Boys with its daring new policies.
The Mexican economy has been divided into gated enclaves where the rich conceal their assets and those on lower incomes become invisible.
Sâo Paulo. April 19. The sheer scale and volume of the gigantic bribery operation that has been bankrolling the entire infrastructure of Brazilian politics over the last 30 years is breathtaking. The details, revealed by the declarations of over 70 executives of Brazil’s top construction company, Odebrecht, to teams of public prosecutors investigating the Lava Jato corruption scandal, would...
Is microfinance really a useful tool for development? In a special article for LAB, Milford Bateman forcefully argues that it is not.
Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon – a strategy born during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day. The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that...
On 4 January, a congressional commission with full investigative powers was created to deal with the accusations of illegal payments to government officials by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company. These relate to infrastructure contracts obtained from the Peruvian government from at least 2005 onwards. The information came to light as part of the wider investigation into the so-called ‘Lava...
If the immigration agenda of Donald Trump and his administration is not enough of a racist assault on the human rights of Mexicans, the overall impact of this demagogue’s agenda on the economy of its long-suffering southern neighbour adds insult to injury. The immediate effect of Trump’s victory and first 100 days in power has been to weaken an already...
Brazil’s president has until 22 June to approve or veto two bills (PLC 4 and PLC 5) turning over more than 600,000 hectares (2,317 square miles) of federally protected Amazon forest to illegal loggers, illegal miners and land thieves. The measures, initiated by Temer and already approved by Congress, are seen as a reward to the bancada ruralista...
Working through IIRSA, the Bank is funding dam construction throughout South America.

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